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Management Bulletin 23-10

Guidance on implementation of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and CLASS Environment in the California State Preschool Program.

Early Education Division

Subject: Implementation of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and CLASS Environment and Removal of the Environment Rating Scale for the California State Preschool Program (CSPP)

Number: 23-10

Date: December 2023

Expires: Until rescinded or regulations are promulgated

Authority: Section 106 of Senate Bill (SB) 114 (Chapter 48, Statutes of 2023) and Assembly Bill (AB) 102 (Chapter 38, Statutes of 2023)

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Directors of all California State Preschool Programs


Purpose

This Management Bulletin (MB) notifies and provides guidance to California State Preschool Program (CSPP) contractors of the requirements to phase in implementation of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) and the CLASS® Environment Tool and removes current requirements for contractors to complete the Environment Rating Scale (ERS). In order to strengthen teacher-child interactions and support quality improvement, this MB also preserves certain environmental requirements for CSPP, that were formerly included in the ERS and not included in either CLASS, CLASS Environment, or licensing/license-exempt regulations.

Policy

This MB makes changes to the requirements in California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR) Section 17711 in order to implement Section 106 of Senate Bill (SB) 114 (Chapter 48, Statutes of 2023). As of July 1, 2024, contractors will no longer be required to complete an ERS annually, as part of the Program Self Evaluation (PSE) and as part of a contract monitoring review.

Instead, beginning July 1, 2024, all CSPP contractors will be required to implement CLASS Second Edition Pre-K-3rd, the CLASS Environment, and additional requirements as specified below in this MB in the section entitled “Additional Requirements for CSPP.” CLASS® Pre-K-3rd and CLASS Environment will be implemented through a graduated phase-in approach beginning in 2024–25, with full implementation in program year 2028–29.

At this time, the CLASS tools, including data generated by the implementation of the CLASS tools, will not be used by CDE to determine a finding during contract monitoring. Instead, CLASS will be used to help identify where additional support is needed for continuous quality improvement in CSPP. However, as described below in the “Scores” section, the CDE will be considering adding a minimum score threshold for CLASS in the future through subsequent regulations.

CLASS data should be used by CSPP programs to inform professional development, coaching, and other continuous quality improvement efforts. Contractors shall not use CLASS scores to evaluate staff competency. If violations of state or federal law are observed during a CLASS and/or CLASS Environment Observation, the person observing shall continue to follow all applicable laws.

The Implementation sections of this MB below further detail current directives. This MB shall apply until regulations are promulgated or the MB is superseded by another MB, whichever occurs first.

Definitions

For the purposes of this MB, the following definitions apply:

“Teachstone” means Teachstone, Inc, a Virginia Corporation, and affiliates, if any.

“CLASS” means the Classroom Assessment Scoring System®, Second Edition Pre-K-3rd, developed by Teachstone, which measures the quality of teacher-child interactions.

“CLASS Environment” means the observation tool developed by Teachstone and used alongside CLASS to describe and measure specific features of learning settings that can support effective interactions and enhance children’s development and learning.

“Certified CLASS Observer,” or “Observer,” means someone who has completed the training to become a CLASS observer, passed the CLASS certification test, and has an active CLASS certification from Teachstone. Note: A Certified CLASS Observer conducting a CLASS Observation in a CSPP classroom to meet the requirements of this MB must also meet additional requirements as specified below in “Requirements for CSPP CLASS Observers” Section.

“CLASS Observation” means at least three cycles of observation by a certified CLASS observer.

“Cycle” means a 20-minute observation period and a 10-minute scoring period conducted as part of a CLASS Observation.

“CLASS Environment Observation” means conducting the CLASS Environment tool as defined above. The CLASS Environment Observation is done in addition to the CLASS Observation’s three cycles as defined above.

“CSPP Classroom” means a group of children and teaching team. See chart below for examples:

Scenario Number of Classrooms Rationale
Full-day preschool in center or family childcare setting; one group of children and one teaching team 1 This is one CSPP classroom, the children and the teaching team are the same for the whole day
Full-day preschool in center or family childcare setting; one group of children with the same lead teacher, but different teaching team 1 This is one CSPP classroom, the children and the lead teacher are the same, though the teaching team changes
AM preschool + PM preschool in center or family childcare setting; different children and same teaching team 2 This is two CSPP classrooms; even though the teaching team is the same, the children are different
AM preschool + PM preschool in center or family childcare setting; different children and same lead teacher but different supporting staff 2 This is two CSPP classrooms; even though the lead teacher is the same, the children and support staff are different
AM preschool + PM preschool in center or family childcare setting; using the same physical classroom at different times, different children and different teaching teams in AM and PM 2 This is two CSPP classrooms; different children and different teaching teams


“License exempt classroom” means a classroom that is exempt from licensure pursuant to Health and Safety Code (H&SC) Section 1596.792(o).

CLASS: Implementation

CLASS Tool

Beginning on July 1, 2024, for the 2024–25 program year, all CSPP contractors are required to use the CLASS tool as defined above to observe CSPP classrooms, except as described below in the section titled “Allowances for Head Start Grantees and Contractors Participating in QRIS.”

CLASS Observations

CLASS will be implemented with a graduated phase-in approach beginning in 2024–25, that will allow time for the state and contractors to increase CLASS Observation capacity until full implementation in program year 2028–29. Beginning July 1, 2028, all contractors are required to obtain at least one CLASS Observation on each CSPP classroom per program year.

All CSPP contractors shall begin to implement CLASS and, at minimum, meet the following phase-in schedule starting in 2024–25:

Year Number Program Year Percentage of CSPP classrooms within the agency’s contract that must have an annual CLASS Observation completed
1 2023–24 No requirement; however, contractors should use 2023–24 to begin developing an agency plan for CLASS implementation
2 2024–25 15 percent
3 2025–26 30 percent
4 2026–27 60 percent
5 2027–28 90 percent
6 2028–29 and beyond 100 percent


The CDE recommends contractors with additional capacity phase-in implementation of CLASS at percentages higher than the minimum and reach 100 percent sooner than required, as CLASS will support continuous quality improvement.

Note: The CDE and any entity(ies) which the CDE funds to support CLASS implementation will be closely following implementation of CLASS during this phase-in period and will assess whether changes in percentage targets are necessary in the future based on implementation and to support continuous improvement.

If the number of classrooms in the contract is not exactly equal to the required percentages each year, contractors must round up the number of classrooms that will be observed until it meets or exceeds the required percentage. For example, if a program only has one classroom, they will need to complete implementation of CLASS in 2024–25 to meet the requirements of this MB. If a program has seven (7) classrooms, they will need to obtain observations of two (2) classrooms in 2024–25 to meet the requirements.

Each CLASS Observation must consist of at least three (3) cycles. A cycle consists of a 20-minute observation period and a 10-minute scoring period.

It is CDE’s intention that CSPP programs use CLASS data to inform professional development, coaching, and other continuous quality improvement efforts. To support this goal, after the completion of the CLASS Observation, the results from the Observation shall be provided to the site administrator and classroom teaching staff within 30 calendar days.

Requirements for CLASS Observers

In order to conduct CLASS Observations for CSPP to fulfill the requirements of this MB, Certified CLASS Observers are required to complete additional training beyond CLASS Certification.

Specifically, except as specified in the “Allowances for Head Start Grantees and Contractors Participating in QRIS” section, any Certified CLASS Observer who is conducting an observation in a CSPP classroom to meet the requirements of this MB must also have completed the CLASS Observer Support Series, including:

  • Settings with Dual Language Learners,
  • Settings with Children with Disabilities, and
  • Reducing Bias.

The purpose of this additional training requirement is to ensure California is centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in CLASS implementation.

The Observer can be an employee of the CSPP program; however, staff who are assigned to teach in CSPP classrooms on a daily basis cannot conduct a CLASS Observation at the site to which they are assigned to teach.

Commingling

Each classroom that includes one or more children enrolled in CSPP is subject to the requirements of this MB and must conduct CLASS observations with respect to all children in the classroom, regardless of funding source. In other words, CLASS must be applied to all classrooms or settings where children are commingled (by age or funding source), at least one of which is enrolled in CSPP. For example:

  • When conducting a CLASS Observation in a mixed-age setting or classroom, including in family childcare homes operating as part of a family childcare home education network (FCCHEN), contractors must observe using the CLASS Second Edition Pre-K-3rd.
  • When contractors commingle CSPP children (certified children) with children being served through different funding sources (non-certified children), contractors must observe using the CLASS Second Edition Pre-K-3rd.

In all commingling situations, the Observers must observe teacher-child interactions with all children in the classroom, not just children enrolled in CSPP.

Note: The requirements in this MB also apply to CSPP children enrolled in a combination CSPP/TK classroom as Education Code (EC) Section 48000(h) provides that a school district or charter school serving both groups of children must meet all of the requirements of the respective programs.

Allowances for Head Start Grantees and Contractors Participating in Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS)

While the CDE encourages contractors to implement CLASS 2nd Edition for their classrooms as soon as possible, for program years 2024–25 and 2025–26, contractors that are also Head Start grantees serving preschool-age children or that are participating in their local CSPP quality rating improvement system (QRIS) may utilize observations made using the CLASS 2008 version (instead of CLASS Second Edition, Pre-K-3rd), if the following requirements are met:

  1. The observations were conducted during the corresponding program year and,
  2. Any data and information from such observations required pursuant to the Data Collection Requirements section must be reported using the processes described below in the Data Collection Requirements section.

At this time, CLASS observations conducted on CSPP classrooms during federal Head Start grantee monitoring may be utilized to meet the requirements of this MB (even if those observations only include two cycles) so long as the CSPP contractor has received, at minimum, site-level data with CLASS scores from the observation. However, if a Head Start grantee is conducting the CLASS through their annual self-assessment (for example, to prepare for federal monitoring or to support continuous quality improvement), that CLASS observation must be a minimum of three cycles in order to meet the requirements of this MB.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to exempt contractors that are Head Start grantees or contractors participating in their local CSPP QRIS who are serving preschool-aged children from being required to have observations conducted on a certain percentage of their CSPP classrooms each year, as described above in the “CLASS: Implementation, CLASS Observations” section.

If the percentage of classrooms observed using CLASS 2008 is insufficient to meet the required percentage threshold for the applicable year, then the contractor must obtain observations on additional classrooms using the CLASS 2nd Edition to meet or exceed the required percentage.

Beginning in program year 2026–27, all CSPP classroom observations conducted to meet the requirements of this MB must be conducted using the CLASS (Second Edition, Pre-K-3rd) and include a minimum of three cycles of observation.

Note: Allowances for Head Start Grantees and Contractors Participating in QRIS, as described in this section, only applies to the requirement for CLASS Observations. CLASS Environment Observations, as described below, are still required.

CLASS Environment: Implementation

Changes Related to the Environment Rating Scale (ERS)

Beginning in the 2024–25 program year, contractors will not be required to complete an ERS annually as required in 5 CCR Section 17711. Accordingly, ERS will not be used in the annual PSE as currently referenced in 5 CCR 17709. The directives in this section will supersede 5 CCR Section 17711 pursuant to the authority from SB 114, Section 106.

Note: While contractors are no longer required to use ERS, contractors may certainly choose to continue to use ERS if they find it helpful in their program, so long as they are also meeting the requirements of this MB.

CLASS Environment Tool

CLASS Environment will be implemented with a graduated phase-in approach beginning July 1, 2024, for the 2024–25 program year, similar to the implementation of CLASS Observation above, which will allow time for contractors and the State to increase CLASS Environment capacity until full implementation in the program year 2028–29. Beginning July 1, 2028, all contractors are required to obtain at least one CLASS Environment Observation on each CSPP classroom per program year.

All CSPP contractors shall begin to implement CLASS Environment and, at minimum, meet the following phase-in schedule starting in 2024–25:

Year Number Program Year Percentage of CSPP classrooms within the contract that must have an annual CLASS Environment Observation completed
1 2023–24 No requirement for CLASS Environment; however, contractors should use 2023–24 to begin developing an agency plan for CLASS Environment implementation. (Note: This is the final year of ERS is in effect.)
2 2024–25 15 percent
3 2025–26 30 percent
4 2026–27 60 percent
5 2027–28 90 percent
6 2028–29 and beyond 100 percent


The CDE recommends contractors with additional capacity phase-in implementation of CLASS Environment at percentages higher than the minimum and reach 100 percent sooner than required, as CLASS Environment will support continuous quality improvement.

Note: The CDE and any entity(ies) which the CDE funds to support CLASS Environment implementation will be closely following implementation of CLASS Environment during this phase-in period and the CDE will assess whether changes in percentage targets are necessary in the future based on implementation and to support continuous improvement.

If the number of classrooms in the contract is not exactly equal to the required percentages each year, contractors must round up the number of classrooms that will be observed until it meets or exceeds the required percentage. For example, if a program only has one classroom, they will need to complete implementation of CLASS Environment in 2024–25 to meet the requirements of this MB. If a program has seven classrooms, they will need to obtain observations of two classrooms in 2024–25 to meet the requirements.

The CDE recommends, but does not require, that CLASS Environment Observations be completed consecutively with the CLASS Observations. Specifically, it is best practice to conduct the CLASS Environment Observation immediately before or immediately after the CLASS Observation. However, the CLASS Environment Observation may be conducted with a separation in time, to the extent needed, provided that it is conducted within the same program year and with sufficient time before the PSE to allow data reporting in the PSE pursuant to the “Data Collection” section below.

In order to support the Policy set forth in the second section of this MB to use CLASS Environment Observation data to inform professional development, coaching, and other continuous quality improvement efforts, after the completion of the CLASS Environment Observation, the results from the observation shall be provided to the site administrator and classroom teaching staff within 30 calendar days.

Requirements for Individuals Conducting CLASS Environment in CSPP

CLASS Environment Observations must be completed by a Certified CLASS Observer as defined in this MB who has also completed training on CLASS Environment.

Additionally, any Certified CLASS Observer who is conducting a CLASS Environment Observation in a CSPP classroom to meet the requirements of this MB must also have completed the CLASS Observer Support Series, including:

  • Settings with Dual Language Learners,
  • Settings with Children with Disabilities, and
  • Reducing Bias.

The purpose of this additional training requirement is to ensure California is centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in CLASS Environment implementation.

The observer can be an employee of the CSPP program; however, staff who are assigned to teach in CSPP classrooms on a daily basis cannot conduct a CLASS Environment Observation at the site to which they are assigned to teach.

Commingling

Each classroom that includes one or more children enrolled in CSPP is subject to the requirements of this MB and must conduct CLASS Environment with respect to all children in the classroom, regardless of funding source. In other words, CLASS Environment must be applied to all classrooms or settings where children are commingled (by age or funding source), at least one of which is enrolled in CSPP. For example:

  • When conducting a CLASS Environment Observation in a mixed-age setting or classroom, including in family childcare homes operating as part of a family childcare home education network (FCCHEN), contractors must observe using CLASS Environment.
  • When contractors commingle CSPP children (certified children) with children being served through different funding sources (non-certified children), contractors must observe using CLASS Environment.

In all commingling situations, the observers must make environmental observations for all children in the classroom, not just children enrolled in CSPP.

Note: The requirements in this MB also apply to CSPP children enrolled in a combination CSPP/TK classroom as EC Section 48000(h) provides that a school district or charter school serving both groups of children must meet all of the requirements of the respective programs. As a result, effective July 1, 2024, the ERS is no longer required for CSPP/TK blended classrooms.

Requirements Specific to LEAs with License Exempt Classrooms

Prior to full implementation of the CLASS Environment in 2028–29, CSPP contractors must prioritize all CSPP License-Exempt Classrooms for CLASS Environment Observations. Specifically, contractors must ensure CLASS Environment Observations are completed for all license-exempt classrooms before CLASS Environment Observations for licensed classrooms are started.

As a reminder, contractors with license exempt CSPP classrooms must follow 5 CCR sections 17775–17781. The CDE previously monitored these regulations in connection with ERS. However, with implementation of this MB, the CDE will be updating the CSPP Program Monitoring Instrument, and the PSE referenced in 5 CCR 17709 to capture these items differently.

CLASS and CLASS Environment Implementation Support, Timelines, Scores, Training, and Data Requirements

Support for Implementation

The CDE plans to release a Request for Applications (RFA) for the CSPP Achieving Success in Positive Interactions, Relationships, and Environments (ASPIRE) program in early 2024. This funding is intended to support one Statewide CLASS Lead at a county office of education who may also serve as a Regional Lead, and three additional Regional Leads, for a total of four Regional Leads, to continue to support and build CLASS Observer capacity at the local level.

The Statewide CLASS Lead will be responsible for:

  • Coordinating efforts across Regional Leads in collaboration with the CDE and Teachstone, and
  • Supporting statewide access to resources, including training, and an infrastructure for CLASS 2nd Edition Implementation and CLASS Environment data reporting.

The Regional CLASS Leads will be responsible for:

  • Conducting a regional needs assessment, utilizing local data, including data from local and regional data sources, including QRIS data, Teachstone data, and Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program (IEEEP) data (as applicable) at a minimum, that identifies existing capacity for:
    • CLASS Observer capacity, including number of observers currently certified in CLASS 2008, CLASS 2nd Edition, and/or CLASS Environment,
    • Location and demographics of existing Observers, including language(s) spoken,
    • CLASS and CLASS Environment Observer training capacity, including number of affiliate trainers,
    • CLASS coaching and other quality improvement capacity,
    • Number and location of CSPP programs and classrooms, and
    • As applicable, date of last CSPP CLASS and CLASS Environment Observation for each program/classroom to inform program familiarity with the CLASS and CLASS Environment tools and regional implementation plan.

  • Developing a regional coordination plan and utilizing the regional needs assessment to ensure an infrastructure for regional CLASS and CLASS Environment capacity across CSPP QRIS Block grantees and all CSPPs.

Contact information for the CSPP Regional and Statewide CLASS Leads funded through ASPIRE will be posted on the CLASS resources webpage at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/classrmassessmtresource.asp.

Timeline for Implementation

2023–24 Program Year

During the 2023–24 program year, contractors are encouraged to begin preparing to implement CLASS and CLASS Environment in their programs. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Having, or participating in, an introductory training on CLASS and CLASS Environment for all program staff.
  • Determining how they will obtain CLASS and CLASS Environment observations and, if conducting them internally, determining who will conduct CLASS and CLASS Environment Observations and having those identified participate in the CLASS Observer training and certification process.
  • Attending webinars or office hours hosted by the CDE
  • Viewing the CDE’s CLASS Resource web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/classrmassessmtresource.asp to learn more about additional resources and information available to CSPPs. Information on how to contact CSPP Regional CLASS Leads for the CSPP ASPIRE program will be posted once it becomes available.
  • Connecting with your local CSPP QRIS Block Grantee and your Regional CLASS Lead funded with ASPIRE grant funds, once they are identified, to identify what trainings and resources are available to use for CLASS and CLASS Environment implementation.

By May 15, 2024, all contractors must provide the data in the Requirements for CSPP Contractors to Share Information with Regional CLASS Leads section (within the Data Collection Requirements section below) to their CSPP Regional CLASS Lead.

2024–25 Program Year and Beyond

By October 1, 2024, all contractors must develop an agency plan for implementing CLASS and CLASS Environment to meet the requirements of this MB and begin sharing with staff how the plan will roll-out; including when observations will take place, how classrooms will be phased-in, who will conduct Observations, what training or coaching is available to teachers/staff, and how feedback will be provided back to the teaching staff in observed classrooms as part of the program’s continuous improvement. Contractors must provide a copy of their agency plan for implementing CLASS and CLASS Environment to their CSPP Regional CLASS Lead(s) immediately upon completion and no later than October 1, 2024.

Using their agency plan, contractors must begin implementing this MB and obtaining CLASS Observations and CLASS Environment Observations for CSPP classrooms in the 2024–25 program year based on the required phase-in schedule above in the “CLASS Observations” and “CLASS Environment Observations” section of this MB.

Beginning with the 2024–25 annual PSE, contractors will be required to report data on CLASS Observations and CLASS Environment Observations completed for their programs.

CLASS Observations and CLASS Environment Observations may be conducted at any point in the 2024–25 program year, as long as the Observations are completed in time to report the data in the annual PSE.

Obtaining Observations and Training

Training Opportunities Through the Statewide and Regional CLASS Leads

The Statewide CLASS Lead, with funding through the ASPIRE program, will hold Leader and Educator Launch Events available to all CSPP contractors across the state to increase knowledge of the importance of teacher-child interactions and classroom settings/environments and how CLASS can inform continuous quality improvement.

The Regional CLASS Leads, in partnership with the Statewide CLASS Lead, will hold in-person regional events to share information with leaders, program administrators and educators and facilitate regional and local communication about CLASS in the field. Contractors can reach out to the Regional CLASS Lead in their region to find out when training is available to their staff.

The CDE strongly encourages contractors to ensure that all program leaders and educators attend these events as appropriate and have access to foundational CLASS resources that provide an overview of the CLASS tool and system prior to an Observation. These events and resources will provide an overview of CLASS to help classroom staff understand what is being observed through a CLASS Observation and how Observations are scored. While attendance at these events and review of these resources are not required, it is strongly encouraged to ensure understanding of what CLASS is measuring in their classrooms and to alleviate some of the anxiety that can accompany any classroom Observation.

Obtaining CLASS and CLASS Environment Observations by Certified CLASS Observers

Contractors have the following options for obtaining CLASS and CLASS Environment Observations:

  1. If the Regional CLASS lead offers and the contractor prefers, the contractor may obtain a CLASS and/or CLASS Environment observation from the Regional CLASS lead.
    • Note: CSPP Regional CLASS leads funded with ASPIRE funding are required to conduct Observations for CSPP contractors without the internal capacity to conduct Observations themselves. If contractors are unable to perform their own or obtain a CLASS and/or CLASS Environment Observation through their CSPP Regional CLASS Lead, contractors must notify CDE immediately.
  2. Contractors can send program staff to certified CLASS Observer training provided through the CSPP Regional CLASS Leads funded with CSPP ASPIRE funding. Contractors must contact their Regional Lead for CSPP ASPIRE to access Certified CLASS Observer trainings and recertification for program staff to complete CLASS and CLASS Environment Observations
  3. Contractors can use a CLASS and/or CLASS Environment Observation by a Certified Observer under another auspice (e.g., Head Start as described above in the section “Allowances for Head Start Grantees and Contractors Participating in QRIS”, trading Observers with other CSPPs in your area, paying for a Certified Observer to come observe, etc.)

Contractors may use CSPP contract funds to pay for additional program staff to become certified CLASS or CLASS Environment Observers or to provide additional training on CLASS or CLASS Environment to program staff. While CSPP continues to be reimbursed on the lesser of program costs and the maximum reimbursable amount (through June 30, 2025), the CDE strongly encourages programs to use available contract funds to build capacity for CLASS and CLASS Environment within their own program.

CLASS and CLASS Environment Observer Annual Recertifications

Certified CLASS and CLASS Environment Observers must be recertified annually through Teachstone to maintain a current CLASS or CLASS Environment Observer Certification. Certifications expire exactly one year from the date Observers were last certified or recertified.

Contractors have the following options to fund annual recertifications for staff that are certified CLASS observers:

  1. Contractors can obtain access to free recertifications by reaching out to their CSPP Regional CLASS Lead for staff to complete their annual recertification.
  2. Contractors can use contract funds (as available), to pay for staff to complete their annual CLASS Observer recertification.
Training Opportunities Through CDE

The CDE, in partnership with the Statewide CLASS Lead and Regional CLASS Leads, will be conducting regular webinars and office hours beginning in Spring 2024 to help contractors plan for CLASS implementation and provide a space for contractors to ask questions and get live answers. More information about webinars and office hours will be sent out via the EED Email Distribution List and will be posted to the CDE’s CLASS Resources web page, which can be found at this link: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/classrmassessmtresource.asp. Contractors that are not signed up for the email distribution list can do so at this link: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/emailindex.asp.

Scores

At this time, the CDE is not setting a required minimum threshold score per domain for the CLASS or the CLASS Environment. While there is not a minimum score that contractors need to meet at this time, the CLASS and CLASS Environment scores will still be reported to CDE as part of the annual PSE.

The CLASS tools, including data generated by the implementation of the CLASS tools, will not be used by CDE to determine a finding during contract monitoring. Instead, CLASS will be used to help identify where additional support is needed for continuous quality improvement in CSPP.

CLASS data should be used by CSPP programs to inform professional development, coaching, and other continuous quality improvement efforts. Contractors shall not use CLASS scores to evaluate staff competency. If violations of state or federal law are observed during a CLASS Observation, the person observing shall continue to follow all applicable laws.

Beginning in program year 2024–25, the CDE will review CLASS and CLASS Environment scores as part of the annual PSE and connect with contractors whose scores indicate a need for more intensive training, support, and technical assistance and/or coaching for program staff.

The CDE will be closely reviewing data collected on CLASS and CLASS Environment implementation to determine minimum threshold scores that will be implemented through the regulations process.

Documentation

Contractors are required to keep the following documentation at the contractor level to be made available to the CDE as requested:

  • Current CLASS Observer certifications for all staff employed by the contractor that have completed the CLASS and CLASS Environment Observation Training and passed the certification or recertification test.
  • All CLASS and CLASS Environment Observation scoresheets for each CSPP classroom, or CSPP classroom scores on an Observation/scoring summary document provided by the Observer that provides some context about the observation.
  • All coaching and/or training documentation associated with CLASS and CLASS Environment Observations.
  • Name and agency association (for example, CSPP Regional CLASS Lead, Head Start, CDE) for all CLASS Observers that complete CLASS and CLASS Environment observations that are not employed by the CSPP contractor. (Note that this information can be captured informally such as, on the scoresheet or scoring summary provided at the end of the observation.)

In accordance with 5 CCR Section 17820, contractors are required to maintain the above records for CLASS and CLASS Environment for a minimum of five years.

Additional Requirements for CSPP

Due to the importance of certain requirements that were included in ERS that are not included either in CLASS, CLASS Environment, or in current license or license-exempt regulations and yet remain necessary to support quality improvement in CSPP, this MB also requires contractors meet the following requirements, which are preserved from ERS.

  • Provide children enrolled in Full-Day CSPP for over 4 hours with regularly scheduled time to nap or rest. Furthermore, with regards to napping:
    • Cots or mats must be at least 18” apart.
    • Napping and rest activities must be provided in a clean and sanitary manner.
    • Space must be conducive to resting.
  • Ensure their schedules provide a balance of structure and flexibility. The schedule must include the following each day:
    • A variety of play activities
    • Both gross motor and less active play
    • At least one indoor and one outdoor play period (weather permitting)
  • Post written handwashing procedures in a place that is visible to children and adults. Handwashing procedures must be followed by children and adults.
  • Provide storage spaces with security provisions where staff can store their personal belongings.
  • Have space and/or policies in place to support staff for work-related tasks such as conferences and meetings and to support staff for personal breaks.

The CDE plans to add these requirements to 5 CCR in the future, and this MB shall apply until regulations are promulgated or the MB is superseded by another MB, whichever occurs first.

Data Collection Requirements

Requirements for CSPP Contractors to Share Information With Regional CLASS Leads

CSPP contractors must provide data and information requested by the Regional and Statewide CLASS Leads funded through ASPIRE. Note: Regional and Statewide CLASS Leads will not be able to make this request of CSPP contractors without first receiving CDE approval. The Regional and Statewide CLASS Leads will be instructed to request data and information from contractors no more than 2-3 times per year and provide information to the Regional and Statewide CLASS Leads with information from CDE’s existing data systems before approving any data request from contractors.

In addition, contractors must provide the following to their CSPP Regional CLASS Leads by May 15, 2024:

  • Data on number and location of the contractor’s CSPP classrooms
  • Information on the date of last CLASS Observation for each CSPP program classroom
  • Information on the date of last CLASS Environment Observation for each CSPP program classroom

For contractors operating in multiple counties, contractors must provide information at the county-level to the appropriate Regional Lead(s).

For contractors operating an approved CSPP family childcare home education network, the contractor will need to collect and share with their CSPP Regional CLASS Leads data relating to their individual providers operating in their FCCHEN, including the number of providers, the location of those providers, and information on the date of last CLASS and CLASS Environment Observation for each provider.

Additional Data Reporting Requirements for CSPP Contractors

In addition to providing information on CLASS and CLASS Environment scores in the annual PSE and the information required to be provided to Regional and Statewide CLASS Leads described above, CSPP contractors will also be required to report more specific data on CLASS and CLASS Environment scores. The CDE is still in the process of finalizing the CLASS and CLASS Environment Data Reporting Instructions, which can be found on the CLASS Resources page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/classrmassessmtresource.asp when finalized and posted.

The instructions themselves are not located in this MB because the CDE and any entity(ies) the CDE may fund to support CLASS and CLASS Environment implementation may need to modify the instructions throughout implementation. The CDE will send a message on the EED email distribution lists when the instructions are posted and if changes are made to CLASS and CLASS Environment Data Reporting Instructions after they are initially released.

Contractor Requirements for Reviewing Data

CSPP contractors will be required to review all data and information related to CLASS and CLASS environment scores, along with reporting any coaching or training provided as a result of those scores as part of their submission for the annual PSE.

The annual PSE will include a section where contractors will be asked to reflect on their scores and identify a plan for how they will use the information from their scores to improve their practice as they work on continuous quality improvement.

Background and Authority

Provision 102 of Item 6100-001-0001, Provision 6 of Item 6100-194-0001 and Provision 6 of Item 6100-196-0001 of the Budget Act of 2023 (AB 102 [Chapter 38, Statutes of 2023]) appropriate funding for the CDE to support implementation of CLASS.

Additionally, section 106 of SB 114 (Chapter 48, Statutes of 2023) requires that CDE issue guidance through management bulletins or similar letters of instruction on how the tool for strengthening teacher-child interactions and supporting quality improvement (i.e., CLASS), funded through the above-referenced sections of the Budget Act shall be implemented at the local level for the California State Preschool Program and included in monitoring processes. It further provides that the guidance also includes changes, if any, to Section 17711 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. This MB is being issued to meet the requirements of SB 114.

Further, this bill requires that CDE initiate a rulemaking package for this purpose no later than December 31, 2024.

The guidance provided in this MB supersedes current Title 5 regulations, as directed above, as well as supersedes EC Section 48000(h)(1) to the extent that subsection (h)(1) requires implementation of the ERS.

Resources

The CDE has developed a CLASS Resources web page for CSPP contractors, which will include contact information for CSPP Regional and Statewide CLASS Leads once identified, along with other resources. The web page can be found here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/classrmassessmtresource.asp.

If you have programmatic questions related to this MB, please contact your assigned EED, Program Quality Implementation (PQI) office regional consultant. The EED, PQI regional consultant directory web page can be accessed at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/assignments.asp.

Pursuant to authority provided in SB 114 (Chapter 48, Statutes of 2023) this Management Bulletin constitutes official guidance to implement Section 106 of that bill and thus the directives in this Management Bulletin with respect to implementing these sections are mandatory.

Questions:   Early Education Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Friday, December 29, 2023
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