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Texas School Ready Resources to Fulfill the High Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program Requirements (HB4 and Rider 78)

The Children’s Learning Institute at UTHealth has managed the ongoing implementation and enhancement of the Texas School Ready (TSR) Project since its inception in 2003. The following information was prepared for Texas school districts and charter schools who received additional funding through the Texas Education Agency’s High Quality Prekindergarten Program, established by House Bill 4 (84th Texas Legislature, 2015) and continued through Rider 78 (85th Texas Legislature, 2017). TSR is implemented in Texas through three delivery models: TSR Online, TSR Online+, and TSR Comprehensive. Through TSR Online, we are able to offer free access to TSR’s child progress monitoring system and reporting, online professional development courses, classroom activities, and classroom observation tools to ALL Texas public school districts and charter schools. All TSR Online resources are freely-accessible to Texas public schools through the Children’s Learning Institute’s online platform CLI Engage. We encourage all school districts and charter schools to consider these resources, available to your teachers at no cost through a partnership between the Texas Education Agency and the Children’s Learning Institute.

Click the links below to jump to specific information: 

TSR Online Training and Support    |    Supplemental Curriculum    |    Progress Monitoring Instruments and Assessments    |    Professional Development
Coaching Support    |    Family Engagement    |    Partnership/Collaboration Classrooms

Questions about information on this webpage? Please submit a help ticket.

This information was updated on September 5, 2018.


TSR Online Training and Support

The Children’s Learning Institute provides many resources to support TSR Online participants in using and implementing the free tools available on CLI Engage. All training and support resourcesare available for free, including many technical help documents and videos on CLI Engage. All TSR Online participants are encouraged to view the CLI Engage Training Calendar, and register for free training webinars here. These training webinars are open to all TSR Online participants, but many are designed to support specific audiences, including teachers and district administrators. Previously recorded webinars are available on the CLI Engage Webinars and Presentations page.

View CLI Engage’s Training and Support resources.

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To augment the use of the district/charter’s chosen curriculum, consider the use of the CIRCLE Activity Collection for supplemental classroom activities and lessons. The CIRCLE Activity Collection is available for free to all Texas public schools through TSR Online; the activities are accessed through the online platform that houses TSR Online tools and resources, CLI Engage. All activities were re-aligned to the child outcomes in the newly-adopted Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (2015) before the start of the 2016-17 school year.

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Progress Monitoring Instruments and Assessments

All school districts and charter schools following High Quality Prekindergarten Program guidelines are strongly encouraged to upload prekindergarten and kindergarten assessment data into the Early Childhood Data System (ECDS), part of the Texas Student Data System (TSDS). On CLI Engage, the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System and Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment were approved for the 2017-2021 Commissioner’s List of Approved Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Assessment Instruments. Review the following document document for the list of required measures for districts uploading data into the Early Childhood Data System:

The CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System and Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment were developed and validated by the Children’s Learning Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Both assessments are available at no cost to all Texas public school districts and charter schools on CLI Engage.

There are many resources to support school districts and charter schools planning to implement the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System and Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment during the school year. These resources, available for free to all TSR Online participants, include:

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Professional Development

The Children’s Learning Institute professional development model is designed to encourage teachers to review new information, reflect on what they have learned, and provide opportunities for practical application. Specifically, the online professional development courses available on CLI Engage provide opportunities for:

In addition to being certified to teach in the state of Texas (under TEC Chapter 21, Subchapter B), each teacher must also have additional training or credentials. Texas School Ready provides avenues for teachers to meet these requirements:

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING: Through TSR Online, administrators and specialists can support teachers at school districts and charter schools to develop and complete a cutomized professional development plan using online training on CLI Engage (all aligned to the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines) at no cost. CLI Engage houses all 16 eCIRCLE online courses, used in TSR classrooms for over ten years; these courses have been proven to improve teachers’ content knowledge in these important skill areas, and can be completed self-paced or through facilitated, face-to-face sessions. CLI Engage also houses a new series of online training courses for the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (2015); through 11 courses, teachers are introduced to the guidelines, instructional strategies and child outcomes across all 10 domains with extensive videos and links to the CIRCLE Activity Collection.

Customization of CLI Engage Online Professional Development: There are two main ways courses in the library can be delivered to teachers:

  1. By default, all teachers enrolled in TSR Online have access to the self-instructional version of CLI Engage online courses, including eCIRCLE courses. This allows teachers to access the information on their own, when they want/need to;
  2. CLI Engage also offers a unique opportunity for school districts, charters, and Education Service Centers to offer these same eCIRCLE courses through a facilitated model that combines self-study with face-to-face activities and interactions with a course facilitator or master teacher. This allows the content to be delivered in a more customized manner, meeting the needs of the district and teachers.

CLI has designed detailed facilitation guides for all of the eCIRCLE and Texas PKG online courses that delve deeper into interactively exploring and processing the research and strategies. These guides are provided at no cost to approved facilitators after a brief vetting process. The facilitator uses the guides to chart a path for the cohort of participants. Learn more about the CLI Engage Online Course Facilitator process on CLI Engage. The following delivery models are recommendations for school districts to consider when determining training plans from their teachers:

Coaching to Support Professional DevelopmentThe eCIRCLE online courses were developed using CLI’s professional development model, including experiential learning, practical application, and direct interaction. Additionally, when these courses are facilitated, course facilitators have access to customized mentoring tips. These are useful for follow-up contact in classroom with teachers to both support the course material learned and promote reflective practice on their learning as synthesized into classroom practice. Other components on the platform such as the Classroom Observation Tool or the CIRCLE Activity Collection are referenced as a resource for supporting focused content with data. Below are several examples for your teachers to utilize TSR’s free trainings to meet the grant program’s requirements, but the opportunities are not limited to these proposed implementations. Click here to download sample training plans and consider how TSR’s training options might fit into your district/charter’s established early release days, waiver days, or new teacher academies.

CIRCLE CDA TRAINING PROGRAM: TSR offers the CIRCLE CDA Training Program to all TSR Online participants. Through the CIRCLE CDA Training Program, preschool teachers can earn all 120 training hours needed to apply for the CDA-Preschool Endorsement for free. All courses will be housed on CLI Engage, our online platform. The CIRCLE CDA Training Program utilizes eCIRCLE courses, supplemented with additional online courses to fulfill all content knowledge required to successfully achieve a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™. Like the eCIRCLE online courses, the CIRCLE CDA Training Program could also be facilitated through face-to-face sessions using TSR-provided facilitation guides. Visit CLI Engage for more information about the CIRCLE CDA Training Program. The online courses and assignments for the CIRCLE CDA Training Program were developed using CLI’s professional development model, including experiential learning, practical application, and direct interaction. Additionally, through the CIRCLE CDA Training Program, teachers will complete at least 20 hours in preparing their detailed professional portfolio through the CIRCLE CDA professional portfolio course, similar to a capstone project. The CDA Professional Portfolio includes:

COMPLETION OF TEXAS SCHOOL READY TRAINING PROGRAM (TSR COMPREHENSIVE):Teachers who previously participated in Texas School Ready may contact the Children’s Learning Institute to confirm their TSR completion. The Children’s Learning Institute is able to confirm TSR completion from 2008-present; we will provide a certificate of completion to each teacher upon their request. EACH TEACHER who previously completed at least two years in Texas School Ready must apply for a certificate to confirm their TSR completion. Staff at the Children’s Learning Institute will review the information submitted through this survey. If a teacher’s completion can be confirmed, a certificate will be emailed to the teacher for their records. It will take approximately 10 days to confirm participation and award the certificate. We may contact you during that time if more information is needed. Click here to apply for a TSR completion certificate. Teachers may have completed TSR Comprehensive under a different name:

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Coaching Support

Coaching can significantly improve early childhood teachers’ instructional quality, and in turn child outcomes, when it provides sustained opportunities for individualized practice and feedback with an expert and/or mentor. Effective coaching models use systematic observation of specific language and literacy teaching practices to identify priority areas to set goals, and track progress toward reaching goals. TSR Online provides a series of tools for school districts and charter schools interested in supporting their teachers through mentoring and coaching, from beginning classroom observation to implementing a program to support your teachers.

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Family Engagement

Comprehensive resources for parents are available on the CLI Engage platform at no cost to schools or parents. Visit the CLI Engage Family Engagement Resouces page for more information. The new CIRCLE Activity Collection for Families includes fun, easy activity ideas that families can do together to help support important school readiness skills for children ages 0-6 in English and Spanish. The collection is available to teachers and parents for free!

There are several how-to guides for school staff to support sharing these resources with families in the Training and Support section, including:

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Partnership/Collaboration Classrooms

If your district/charter is considering partnerships with child care programs, we encourage you to review the following resources: 

The following four partnership models are the most common in Texas communities. Please refer to the partnership toolkit for more detailed information about these partnership models, and how to set-up and sustain a partnership in your community.

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