In recent weeks, Delaware’s youngest students walked into a K-12 classroom, some for the first time. It’s estimated that nearly half of those kindergarteners are already behind the curve.
As advocates and leaders in the state evaluate opportunities to increase access and quality of early learning options, they are also relying on new data to better understand what students know on day one.
The Delaware Early Learner Survey (DE-ELS) became widely available across Delaware for the first time in recent years. As two Delaware kindergarten teachers describe in this blog post on the Rodel Foundation website, the DE-ELS is an observational assessment that looks at six domains of developmental growth: physical, social-emotional, language, cognitive, literacy, and mathematics. Kindergarten teachers across the state will have 30 days from the beginning of the school year to assess each student. That data is designed to help educators tailor their instruction.
Advocates are hoping ongoing data from the DE-ELS, being conducted right now across Delaware, can serve as a call to action. In a recent blog post, the Rodel Foundation pledged to help teachers customize instruction based on the results of the DE-ELS and provide additional support to teachers where needed. Advocates also pledged to help use this data to maximize resources and ensure elementary schools are prepared to meet the need of incoming students.