"The goal of early intervention and early childhood special education is to enable young children with disabilities to be active and successful participants during their early childhood years and in the future. States collect, analyze, and use data on three child outcomes to measure individual child and family progress toward improved results and to improve their systems and services." -Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
Schools that enroll preschool aged children with disabilities are required to report their children's progress in each of three outcome areas: Positive Social Emotional Skills, Acquisition and Use of Knowledge and Skills, and Use of Appropriate Behaviors to Meet Their Needs. Arizona currently uses one tool to document this progress, Teaching Strategies GOLD. Teachers and caregivers are able to share information regarding children's skills across each domain of learning and record their observations as soon as the children start school. Over time, children's progress on learning areas such as literacy, math, physical, and social-emotional skills are recorded and used to inform teachers' instructional practices and program effectiveness. This data is used in the state's Annual Performance Report for Indicator 7.
Teachers collaborate with families and other practitioners by observing children's skills remotely and in person and gather information from families and other practitioners to be able to report a comprehensive view of children's skills over the course of the school year. The Technical Assistance document, "Parent and Teacher Shared Observations Activities" can help to facilitate conversations between practitioners and families. It provides examples of targeted skills, identifies opportunities for gathering information, and encourages activities that would support acquisition of the skills. Parents have had positive reviews of this tool and the opportunities it affords.
Starting in August 2022, the National Resource Center for Paraeducators (NRCP) and the Center for Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education (TAESE) have organized a year of monthly, low-cost, professional development webinars for paraeducators, teachers, administrators, etc.