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CEELO Resources – Birth through Third Grade

State education leaders and early learning policy makers are increasingly working together to coordinate fiscal and human resources to ensure children experience consistently high quality learning experiences before they enter school and into the elementary school years. Early childhood educators and K-3rd grade staff are working together to align standards, curriculum and assessment, as well as promote leadership and professional development, so that all have the skills and knowledge needed to support children’s learning across ages and grades.

CEELO publishes a range of material on birth through third grade in the early learning space. See below for our resources listed alphabetically. To view CEELO Resources by publication type, click here. For external birth through 3rd grade resources, click here.

All CEELO Resources on Birth through Third Grade

Alternatives to Early Childhood Suspensions is a series of three presentations Diane Schilder staff gave to leaders from New Hampshire Title I schools. (November 2015, January 2016, May 2016, Presentation)

  • Part 1 shares current trends, policy issues, and research around early childhood expulsions and the role of high-quality settings.
  • Part 2provides a video for reflection on how challenging behaviors are address and discusses policies, procedures, practices, and supports to have in place to prevent challenging behavior form occurring.
  • Part 3 discusses practices that support young children’s socio-emotional development, provides strategies to address issues that arise, and offers resources and supports for leaders, teachers, and teaching teams.

Building Capacity to Enact Change for Classroom Quality Improvement in New Jersey – State Education Agencies (SEAs) across the country are working to directly impact early childhood teaching and learning in local education agencies (LEAs). To do this, the SEA must rely on local change agents to increase classroom quality across a state. The work presented in this paper set out to build the capacity of educators, teachers and leaders in New Jersey to spearhead change in LEAs with the support of the SEA.

Building State P-3 Systems focuses on the SEA role in supporting P-3 system building at the state and local levels, drawing on a recent study of three states that have devoted significant attention and resources to P-3 efforts: Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Each of these states has developed state-wide P-3 policy initiatives regarding standards, assessments, and instruction as well as targeted programs to support local P-3 community partnerships. After providing an overview of each state’s P-3 work, the webinar discusses nine recommendations that emerged from the case studies. (September 2016, Webinar)

Building State P-3 Systems: Learning from Leading States focuses on the state education agency (SEA) role in supporting P-3 system building at the state and local levels. Included in the report are case studies of three states that have devoted significant attention and resources to P-3 efforts: Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Each of these states has developed statewide P-3 policy initiatives regarding standards, assessments, and instruction as well as targeted programs to support local P-3 community partnerships. The paper presents a number of themes and patterns that emerged from the comparison of the three states and concludes with 9 recommendations to help guide P-3 system-building. (August 2016, Policy Report)

Considerations for Aligning Early Grades Curriculum with the Common Core provides assistance in developing a tool to assist with cross walking with the Common Core Math and English Language Arts with this state’s kindergarten ½ day program to transition with the Common Core State Standards.  (May 2013, Fast Fact)

Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion identifies selected research studies and federal and state policy resources on early childhood suspension, expulsion, and discipline and what can be done to prevent these practices. (August 2015, Annotated Bibliography)

Early Learning Chiropractory: Can we Make Standards Alignment a Little Less Painful?  examines how states are approaching a comprehensive early learning system of standards and explores emerging tools to move state standards along a cohesive and high-quality continuum. CEELO’s Jana Martella and Tom Schultz, along with Albert Wat (National Governors Association) and Jim Lesko (ELC-TA) at the 2014 NAEYC Professional Development Institute.  (June 2014, Presentation)

Effective Components of Successful Early Learning-to-Kindergarten Transitions features CEELO’s Shannon Riley-Ayers who presented on three components that support a child’s successful transition to school: leadership, effective instruction, and family and community engagement. She was joined by a principal and a superintendent from Oregon who shared successful family engagement and school readiness efforts and how to increase the readiness of entering kindergartners. (October 2016, Webinar)

From a Crawl to a Run: Enhancing and Sustaining Children’s Learning Birth Through Third Grade describes a birth through third grade framework and its benefits and offers examples of what it looks like in practice. It also discusses what promotes and hinders a birth through third grade framework and highlights the roles state agencies, programs, administrators, policymakers, providers, and parents can play. Jim Squires gave this presentation at the Mississippi Early Childhood Conference.  (July 2014, Presentation)

If Birth-3rd Policy and Practice is the Answer, What is the Question? illustrates why improving birth through third grade is an urgent priority. Tom Schultz presented these slides at the Nevada Birth through Third Grade Policy and Practice Implementation Summit.  (October 2013, Presentation)

The Impact of Policy on the Class of 2027: Early Care and Education in South Carolina details policy mechanisms that lead to improved child outcomes. The presentation discusses young children’s brain development, dimensions of readiness, elements and measurements of quality, the P-20 approach, and other areas policy can impact. It also includes information on return on investments in early childhood for South Carolina. Jim Squires presented at the Early Childhood Common Agenda Forum South Carolina Children’s Trust.  (November 2014, Presentation)

Issues and Actions: Achieving Full Inclusion From Birth – Third Grade describes multiple issues impacting birth through third grade inclusion, provides clarity on alignment, continuity, and transitions as they pertain to inclusion, and suggests actions for influencing policy and practice for birth through third grade inclusive services. It concludes with resources available from national technical assistance centers and institutes. Jim Squires presented with Sharon Ritchie (UNC – Chapel Hill) and Beth Rouse (University of Kentucky) at the 2013 National Inclusion Institute.  (May 2013, Presentation)

Kindergarten as a Critical Link focuses on ways that school districts can develop kindergarten policies to both support alignment across the early grades and ensure effective transitions for children and families into elementary school. The session highlights ten policies that support, promote, and enhance the learning and joy of learning for all kindergarten children, leading to positive child outcomes for all. Panelists share how districts and school are enacting and implementing these policies, with a discussion of strategies, approaches, and outcomes. Melissa Dahlin and Shannon Riley-Ayers gave this presentation at the Ounce of Prevention’s Excellence in the Early Grades District Leadership Summit with Vincent Costanza (New Jersey Department of Education), Anne Arnold (Highline Public Schools, WA), and Rick Falkenstein (Kingwood Township School District, NJ).  (March 2015, Presentation)

Making PreK-3rd Grade Assessments Matter was presented by Tom Schultz at the National Association of Elementary School Principals Conference in Long Beach, CA on June 30th with co-panelists Kristie Kauerz from the University of Washington and Cindy Bagwell from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The presentation was part of a strand of sessions to highlight NAESP’s initiative to build the leadership capacity of their members in early childhood education, based on their recent publication Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Principal Practice. (June 2015, Presentation)

New Early Childhood Indistar® Indicators introduces the audience to new Early Childhood Indistar® Indicators developed by CEELO in collaboration with the Center on Innovations (CIL) in Learning. Indistar® is a web-based system for use with district and/or school improvement teams to inform, coach, sustain, track, and report improvement activities. The new early childhood indicators provide an opportunity for stakeholders to use indicators and the associated research to align early childhood education with school improvement efforts. (August 2014, Webinar)

A P-3 Approach and its Effectiveness in Closing Achievement Gaps: Hawaii’s P-3 Initiative describes implementation of the Hawaii P-3 Initiative, along with findings from a five-year RAND evaluation of the Initiative which showed a statistically significant improvement in third grade reading scores in the five communities, narrowing the achievement gap. CEELO’s GG Weisenfeld presented with Karen Lee and Kim Guieb from Hawaii P-20 at the National Association of Elementary School Principals on July 7 2016 in National Harbor, MD. (July 2016, Presentation)

Planning for the New Early Learning Model: Harnessing Potential in the Next School Improvement Grant Cycle, hosted by CEELO and the Center on School Turnaround (CST), reviews the eight components of the new model and discusses key requirements, including school leadership and expanding high quality prekindergarten and full-day kindergarten. Charlie Geier, Director of Early Learning and Intervention in the Office of Early Learning and Intervention, Indiana Department of Education, shares what the new early learning model means for the state of Indiana and examples of how Indiana is working to support the key components of the SIG. (April 2015, Webinar)

Quality Matters: National Initiatives to Support Inclusion shares initiatives, resources, and lessons learned to support state and local efforts in developing quality systems of inclusive services. Participants will have an opportunity to review the recommendations from the federal Position Statement on Inclusion and discuss how these recommendations can work for them. Jim Squires (CEELO) presented with Beth Caron (RTT-ELC TA) and Shelley deFosset (ELC TA and PDG TA) at the National Inclusion Institute on May 11, 2016 at Chapel Hill, NC. (May 2016, Presentation)

A Powerful Convergence: Community Schools and Early Childhood Education– this article from EDC’s David Jacobson highlights a new approach to raising achievement for low-income children that combines Prenatal through Grade 3 (P-3) quality and alignment initiatives, family engagement, and child and family support services. Examples in Cincinnati, Omaha, and Multnomah County demonstrate effective, results-oriented partnerships among elementary schools, community-based preschools, and other early childhood organizations. (Kappan, February 2018)

Preparing Principals to Support Early Childhood Teachers summarizes what is known about principal licensing requirements and professional development in early childhood pedagogy and best practice, and provides selected state examples of professional development models for principals.  (July 2014, Fast Fact)

Pre-K Attendance – Why it’s Important and How to Support It originates from a state request for information on chronic absenteeism with regard to early childhood. It provides information on potential causes of absenteeism, examples from cities and states to address it, and available resources. (February 2016, FastFact)

Pre-K: The Starting Line for Positive Attendance Patterns was a session at the Every Student, Every Day National Conference on June 10, 2016. CEELO’s Melissa Dahlin discussed root causes for absenteeism in pre-K and strategies to address them from a cross-sector state and local perspective. Danielle Ewen (EducationCounsel) and Michael Katz (Urban Institute) shared findings and insights from a study that examined pre-K absenteeism in DC. (June 2016, Presentation)

Promoting a Culture of Inclusion for Birth-Third Grade Systems Within State and Local Education Agencies describes the current state of an institutional culture of inclusion, identifies real and perceived barriers to achieving and institutional culture of inclusion, develops potential strategies to infuse a viral culture of inclusion, and suggests action steps and recommendations for technical assistance providers to state education agencies, local education agencies, and programs. Jim Squires gave this presentation at the 2013 National Inclusion Institute.  (May 2013, Presentation)

Promoting Holistic, Shared and Consistent Birth-3rd Grade Pedagogy and Practice explains why improving early learning opportunities birth through third grade is an urgent priority, describes how young children are doing in birth through third grade, and explains what we know about birth through third grade pedagogy and practice. Tom Schultz gave this presentation at the Vermont Governor’s Early Childhood Summit Focus Group.  (September 2013, Presentation)

Retention in the Early Years: Is Early Retention an Effective, Research-Based Strategy for Improving Student Outcomes? reviews literature on research and practice about the effects of early retention, and highlight considerations that make retention a nuanced rather than definitive research based approach to enhancing student outcomes. (August 2015, FastFact)

Roundtable Reflections 2014 provides broad highlights from Roundtable sessions and lists resources identified by participants. The 2014 theme centered on improving the quality of teaching birth through grade three.  (July 2014, Paper)

State Approaches to Family Engagement in Pre-K Programs focuses on approaches to family engagement in state funded pre-K programs. It discusses why family engagement is important, describes approaches to developing program guidance, and offers strategies to support effective implementation.(March 2016, Policy Brief)

State Early Learning Standards: Lessons from Applying Implementation Research provides an overview of New England and Islands Regional Education Laboratory (NEI-REL) and CEELO, highlights national trends and issues for consideration for implementation, shares best practices related to implementing statewide initiatives, and discusses implementing early learning and development standards in Connecticut.  (April 2013, Webinar)

Supporting Principal Leadership for Pre-K through Third Grade Learning Communities addresses ways to enhance SEA and LEA leadership capacity for building P -3 communities, cultivate standards of effective practice for P-3 principals and related leaders, develop practical implementation strategies as described by an elementary school principal and state education leaders, and consider implications for state and local policymakers, technical assistance and professional developmental providers, and higher education. The webinar was co-sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS-SDE). (March 2015, Webinar)

Supporting SEA Early Learning Initiatives – How We Can Help You!  gives an overview of CEELO and resources it hosts on the CEELO website. It also includes information from the NIEER State of Preschool  Yearbook  on the Mid Atlantic Comprehensive Center region.  Jana Martella and Megan Carolan gave this presentation at the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center Early Learning Round Table.  (August 2013, Presentation)

Supporting State Education Agencies Implementing a Birth Through Third Grade Approach focuses on recent developments in birth through third grad approaches with an emphasis on the state education agency’s role and technical assistance support. CEELO held this webinar for state early childhood education specialists and regional comprehensive center staff. The webinar features Dr. Kristie Kauerz, Director of the National P – 3 Center at the University of Washington and David Jacobsen, Professional Excellence Director/Cambridge Education, who showcases work underway in communities across Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Birth through Grade Three Learning Hub.  (August 2014, Webinar)

Teacher Evaluation | P-3 explores emerging trends in measuring child growth for teacher evaluation, differing state roles in teacher evaluation systems, and key policies in states. Jana Martella presented these slides at the National Governors Association Cross-State Policy Academy.  (July 2013, Presentation)

Understanding the Birth Through Third Grade Framework: Supporting Continuous and Sustained Learning for Every Child demonstrates  what a birth through third grade framework is and its benefits, implications on SEA and LEA policies and practices, shared the experiences of forward-thinking state leaders, and discussed how birth through third technical assistance can support states in shifting to birth through twelfth grade systems action. Presenters included Lori Connors-Tadros (CEELO/NIEER), Jim Squires (CEELO/NIEER), Clayton Burch (Office of Early Learning, West Virginia Department of Education), and Linda Sullivan-Dudzic (Bremerton School District, WA).  (September 2013, Webinar)

Understanding Pre-K Inclusion Data: Making the Most of the NIEER State of Preschool Yearbook  demonstrates why a high quality preschool matters in an inclusive birth through third grade context. It explains what the 2013 NIEER State of  Yearbook data tells readers and how the data can be used. It concludes with a list of additional resources. Jim Squires presented these slides at the National Inclusion Institute.  (May 2014, Presentation)

Using Assessments to Improve Transitions to Kindergarten features nationally known experts in discussion on how to integrate KEAs into a comprehensive assessment system and how to use the data to inform teaching practices. State departments of education presenters also highlight practical strategies they are using to assess a child’s school readiness and adjust instruction to help bridge any gaps. This webinar was co-sponsored by the Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Northwest. Presenters include CEELO’s Jana Martella and Tom Schultz, along with Jacqueline Jones (Foundation for Child Development), John Pruette (Office of Early Learning, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction), and Fiona Helsel (REL Northwest).  (November 2014, Webinar)

What Do We Know About Principal Preparation, Licensure Requirements, and Professional Development for School Leaders? describes findings from a CEELO review of data on 21 states’ principal licensure requirements, interviews with experts on principal preparation and professional development in seven states, and interviews with staff at the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Institute for School Leadership. Our research reveals an array of administrator licensure titles assigned to grade-level authority across states, some permitting principals or administrators the flexibility to oversee programs ranging from early childhood through high school. Early childhood content is not a required element of principal preparation or professional development for principals in most states, according to our findings. Very few states have any formal requirement for early childhood content in licensure for principals responsible for early education programs. Some states have developed policies and programs that acknowledge a need for integrating early childhood content, but very few have progressed beyond initial stages of providing training or outlining policies.  (July 2014, Policy Report)

Why Collaborate Birth-3rd Grade? presents evidence to drive Early High Start/Head Start through third grade collaborations and describes opportunities build skills in data-driven leadership. Tom Schultz gave this presentation to the 2nd National Birth to Five Leadership Institute.  (May 2013, Presentation)