Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)
What is CLASS?
CLASS focuses on interactions between teachers and children and how teacher engagement, classroom materials, and children’s activities combine to enhance learning. Each age specific CLASS instrument supports a consistent approach to measuring quality practices across early childhood and school-age environments.
The CLASS instruments are comprised of domains and dimensions that reflect quality classroom interactions. CLASS domains include: Responsive Caregiving, Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, Instructional Support, Emotional and Behavior Support, and Engaged Support for Learning. CLASS dimensions include easily observable behavior markers that reflect consistently occurring quality practices in the classroom. Behavior markers include but are not limited to, eye contact, acknowledging children’s emotions, teacher involvement in children’s activities, engaging in meaningful back and forth exchanges, and using a variety of words in communication.
Which program(s) could use CLASS?
CLASS can be used in center-based programs. There are four CLASS instruments used to assess programs in Pennsylvania:
- Infant CLASS: Birth to 1 year
- Toddler CLASS: 1 to 3 years of age
- Pre-K CLASS: 3 to 5 years of age
- K-3 CLASS: School-age children
*Age ranges for CLASS have been aligned to Pennsylvania Department of Human Service Child Care regulations age levels.
CLASS Assessment Process
External CLASS assessments are conducted by a certified CLASS observer from the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) team. Assessments occur in four 15-20-minute observation cycles.
Internal CLASS assessments are conducted by the program’s internal assessment team. Programs partner with the Quality Coach and PQA team when planning for and conducting internal assessment, and when analyzing the information collected during the internal assessment process.
How does CLASS Support Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)?
Information gathered during a CLASS assessment can be used by the program to help identify positive teacher interactions, as well as areas for growth. The information gathered can also be used to help create the program’s continuous quality improvement plan.
Additional information on CLASS can be found at:
OCDEL Offers Subscriptions to myTeachstone
myTeachstone is an online professional development and coaching platform that enhances skills as seen through the lens of CLASS. The platform supports teachers, coaches, observers, and administrators, by streamlining CLASS implementation through providing access to a library of research-based courses, videos, documents, and links.
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and the Pennsylvania Key are offering teachers a 1-year subscription to myTeachstone. Enrollment space at no cost. Space is limited and based on slot availability. Applications can be requested by emailing myTeachstone-PA@pakeys.org.
Are you interested in using the CLASS for Internal Assessment?
How to Conduct an Informal Internal Assessment (PDF) is a good place to start. It provides an at-a-glance of the assessment details, a list of materials to support internal assessments, links to professional learning resources, and step-by-step guidance for conducting the informal internal assessment.
CLASS Self-Reflection Tool
The CLASS Self-Reflection Tool (PDF) was developed for Internal Assessment teams to use after receiving feedback from an Infant, Toddler, Pre-K and/or K-3 external CLASS observation. The purpose of the Self-Reflection Tool is to help early childhood and school-age professionals reflect on the current practice feedback, identify strengths and areas for growth, and begin making plans for classroom/program improvement.
CLASS Internal Self-Reflection Tools
The CLASS Internal Self-Reflection Tools were designed to support programs in becoming more familiar with the CLASS observation instruments, reflect on current practices, and develop goals related to teacher-child interactions. Each CLASS Internal Self-Reflection tool includes a checklist of items and open-ended questions for Internal Assessment team reflection.
- Infant CLASS Internal Self-Reflection Tool (PDF)
- Toddler CLASS Internal Self-Reflection Tool (PDF)
- Pre-K CLASS Internal Self-Reflection Tool (PDF)
- K-3 CLASS Internal Self-Reflection Tool (PDF)