SRI supported the Nevada Department of Education’s Preschool Development Grant efforts to create a more aligned early childhood system through review of and revisions to their early learning guidelines, quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), and workforce standards. From August 2019 through June 2020, SRI engaged Nevada stakeholders in an iterative process to promote alignment across standards areas, resulting in standards revisions, adoption of new standards, and next steps for further standards development.
Full description of project work
SRI partnered with the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) to engage stakeholders in an iterative process for evaluating and improving alignment of the state’s early childhood learning standards, program standards, and workforce standards. The project was a portion of the Nevada’s Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Birth-5 efforts. The main objectives of the project were to:
- Evaluate alignment within each standards area and across the three standards areas.
- Revise the standards documents to improve alignment.
- Outline recommendations and strategies to further enhance the state’s work around learning, program, and workforce standards.
Supported by a Steering Committee that provided guidance on the approach, in the first phase, SRI engaged three work groups in meetings held across multiple locations (Las Vegas, Reno, and remote), all connected virtually. During work group meetings, SRI engaged members in reviewing data from sources such as the Nevada Registry and Nevada Silver State Stars Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and reviewing information from national initiatives (such as Power to the Profession), as it related to Nevada’s standards. SRI facilitated the work groups in reviewing the standards documents and evaluating them against a framework of alignment, which included appropriateness, rigor, alignment, and consistency of standards.
A second phase of the project focused on targeted work with a small work group to finalize the revised professional competencies and identify strategies for implementing the recommendations related to professional development offerings. SRI facilitated a process of information gathering and decision making that resulted in
- Recommendations for revisions to QRIS indicators that were aligned across QRIS models (e.g., center, family child care, and public school).
- Recommendations for a revised structure and content for the Nevada early learning guidelines to better align the infant/toddler guidelines with the preschool guidelines.
- Adoption of the NAEYC Professional Standards and Competencies and development of aligned Emerging competencies that are specific to Nevada’s workforce.
- Draft Leadership Competencies for program administrators and leaders.
- Strategies to build on existing structures to implement recommendations to enhance professional development offerings.