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This month the Office of Head Start (OHS) posted the National CLASS Data 2016 report, A National Overview of Grantee CLASS Scores in 2016. The report summarizes data collected during OHS on-site reviews of grantees during the 2015-2016 program year. The use of CLASS in Head Start serves multiple purposes, one of which is its use as part of the Designation Renewal System (DRS). CLASS scores are one of the triggers that may require a program to compete for continued funding.

The OHS FAQ document, Use of Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) in Head Start, provides a succinct description of the factors under which grantees may be required to compete for funding due to CLASS score.

There are two circumstances under which a grantee is required to compete as the result of low CLASS® scores. First, grantees with average CLASS® scores below the established minimum on any of the three CLASS® domains will be required to compete. These thresholds have been established as a score of 4 for the domain of Emotional Support, 3 for the domain of Classroom Organization, and 2 for the domain of Instructional Support. Second, each year the 10 percent of grantees reviewed that receive the lowest average scores in each domain are required to compete.

So, what does the release of the CLASS 2016 data mean? It means a couple of things. First, it signifies that OHS has completed analysis of the 2015-2016 CLASS data. We also now know the scores for the lowest 10% in each domain – Emotional Support, 5.5952; Classroom Organization, 5.2500; and Instructional Support, 2.2222. And all of this could mean that a list of grantees required to compete for funding as part of DRS Round 6 could be coming soon. We will keep our eye out for forecasted Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) and announcements from OHS and will provide updates via our blog.

Foundations for Families has successfully worked with agencies in every round of recompetition to write winning grants, design competitive programs and develop fiscally responsible budgets. If you find your program on the list of cohort 6 grantees required to compete for funding, please be in touch to learn more about our consulting services, including grant writing capabilities. We would be glad to explore ways to work with your program to help ensure continued funding and services to children and families!

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