Earlier this week the Office of Head Start (OHS) held a Live Q&A session for participants to ask questions related to Launch 1 of the Aligned Monitoring System 2.0 (AMS 2.0). The information provided in this online chat style session reinforced some of what was shared during the Launch 1 Webinar and clarified other areas.

Our understanding is that OHS intends to post the transcript from the Live Q&A, although we don’t see it up yet. Check the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) and the Aligned Monitoring Virtual Expo in coming days for a complete list of questions and answers covered.

Let’s take a look at some of what we learned during the Live Q&A!

Scheduling and Timing. There will be no unannounced reviews. Grantees receiving a FY2018 review will be notified (by email and letter sent to physical address) by October 1, 2017 of the type of review they will receive. Sixty days prior to the start of the review you will receive notification with the review date. Grantees that are not getting a FY2018 review will receive notification by email.

Types of Reviews. There are three separate types of reviews – CLASS, Focus Area 1, and Focus Area 2. You may request to have Focus Area 2 and CLASS completed together, and this request should be made through your Monitoring Event Coordinator.

CLASS. CLASS scores will still be used to determine Designation Renewal System (DRS) eligibility. The number of classrooms randomly selected and observed will depend on the size of the grant. Most classroom observations will be scheduled ahead of time, although there may be a request to see additional or different classrooms. CLASS reports are shared with you within 60 days of the review.

Focus Area 1. Responses to interview questions during a Focus Area 1 review will not be scored. Questions related to transportation are included in this review. It was noted that bus ride along will not be a part of the review.

Focus Area 2. A typical Focus Area 2 review will take about 1 week. It is not necessary to prepare any documents for a Focus Area 2 review. Rather, reviewers want to see how the data is used every day in the program.

Many questions arose in the Live Q&A about the timing of reviews for different types of grantees in a variety of grant years. Check out slide 9 of OHS’ The Enhanced AMS 2.0: The Foundation webinar for a graphic timeline of reviews during the 5-year grant cycle.

Looking for more information about Focus Area 1 and Focus Area 2 reviews? On October 10, 2017 at 12pm ET OHS will be holding a Launch 2 (Focus Area 1 and Focus Area 2 reviews) Webinar. Check out the Aligned Monitoring Virtual Expo for additional information. We plan to attend and will provide a recap here on our blog!

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