The DRDP App and Measurable Goals for Child Development

For every parent who wants the best for their children, the DRDP app can help make sure your child is on the right track. But before we look at how DRDP can help, let’s explore why clear goals for children’s development are important to parents and teachers alike.

Claudia, a 28-year-old single mom, drops her daughter Emilia off at preschool every morning with a kiss on the forehead and a wish for a fun and learning-filled day. She knows that Emilia’s teacher Ms. Sanchez will do everything she can to ensure that her wish is fulfilled as she watches her daughter bound into the room and finds her desk where markers and paper await her. Claudia walks back to her car, carrying a bundle of dreams for her daughter’s future.

This is a similar experience for many parents of young children. If you’re a parent, you want the best for your children, but rarely do those desires stop at just wanting the best. Instead, your goals for your children are more defined, more measurable. 

  • I want my child to have good friends. 
  • I want her to be able to communicate well. 
  • I want him to fight for what he believes in. 
  • I want them to be confident in who they are.

The list goes on and on.

Many of the goals parents have for their children are centered on their education, which is where teachers come in. If you’re a teacher, you likely have many hopes for the students who sit in your classroom. Of course, you want them to learn all the skills and concepts you have to teach them, but your goals often go beyond that. You want them to develop all the social-emotional skills and habits that will help them to be successful in their continuing education and when they become adults.

Parents and teachers alike share an unflinching desire to see students achieve the goals we have for them, but it’s often hard to see those goals become a reality without an accurate and user-friendly way to measure progress toward those goals. Why? Because we don’t know what to focus on in order to help children achieve those goals. And every goal we have for our children requires some intentional effort on the part of the parent, the teacher, and the child.

As a parent, one of the earliest goals you have for your children is for them to learn how to walk. But they’ll never learn to walk if you don’t practice with them, getting them up on their feet and stumbling forward toward a goal until they can finally do it with increased distance, finally leading them to walk anywhere they want to go. What if you waited until your child was five years old to start trying to teach them how to walk? You wouldn’t do that because, at least in this instance, you want to make sure that your child is reaching the right goals at the right time.

It’s the same with teachers. You have standards you have to teach, academic goals you need your students to reach. But how will you teach them well if you don’t know what to focus on? What if you’re trying to teach a student something they already know? Couldn’t that time be better spent? Or, even worse, what if you’re trying to teach a student something they can’t grasp because they don’t have the prerequisite knowledge or skill needed to master the new skill?

Having a clear grasp on where you want to go and an equally clear plan of how to get there are essential for achieving your goals. It’s the same way with helping our students succeed. We want students to have clear goals and reach those goals at the right time.

That’s where the DRDP app comes in.

What’s the DRDP app?

The DRDP portfolio app is a tool for measuring progress and meeting goals for parents and teachers working with children. DRDP stands for Desired Results Developmental Profile, which is an assessment designed to measure children’s learning and development. DRDP was developed by the state of California as a part of their Desired Results system, which focuses on creating education environments that foster well-being for both children and families.

DRDP measures progress on six desired results:

  1. Children are personally and socially competent.
  2. Children are effective learners.
  3. Children show physical and motor competence.
  4. Children are safe and healthy.
  5. Families support their child’s learning and development.
  6. Families achieve their goals.

As you can see, these are worthy goals for any teacher or parent to strive for in the children in their lives, but how does DRDP measure progress toward these goals?

For that, the DRDP is divided into four components:

  1. Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP)
  2. The Desired Results Parent Survey
  3. Environment Rating Scales
  4. Program Self-Evaluation

The Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP)

Teachers use this assessment to observe, document, and reflect on the learning, development, and progress of each of the children in their classroom. It is designed to assess children from birth through 12 years old, who are enrolled in early care and education programs and before-and-after school programs. Ideally, teachers use the results of this assessment to plan individualized instruction for their students, as well as for groups of students, and work toward continuous instructional improvement. 

The DRDP 2015 Checklists are divided into eight domains, which we’ll cover next, and the DRDP assessment focuses on measuring the acquisition of knowledge, skills, or behaviors for each domain.

The Desired Results Parent Survey

This survey gathers important information from families about two things:

  • How satisfied the child’s family is with the child’s program and its effectiveness in supporting the child’s learning and development.
  • How the child’s family perceives their progress toward the two Desired Results designated for families.

Families complete this survey anonymously and are asked to complete it once a year.

Environment Rating Scales

This measures a programs environmental factors:

  • Child-teacher interactions
  • Children’s interactions and activities
  • Use of language
  • Health and safety practices
  • Space and materials

Program Self-Evaluation

This evaluation addresses the following:

  • Family and community involvement
  • Governance and administration
  • Funding
  • Standards, assessment, and accountability
  • Staffing and professional growth
  • Opportunity and equal educational access
  • Approaches to teaching and learning

The DRDP app measures progress in eight domains of a child’s development:

How does the DRDP app help teachers and parents?

For teachers, the DRDP app 2015 is a valuable resource for designing specific individualized strategies for helping students to achieve their goals. Because DRDP is an observational assessment, rather than a seated test, teachers have the opportunity to see real-life data and make some more accurate determinations of a student’s progress than they would in just staring at numbers on a spreadsheet. 

Each of the eight domains is measured according to the following DRDP Developmental Levels, although not all domains will have four measurements for preschool-age children:

Using the DRDP app, teachers track a student’s measurements through their own observations, family observations, and documentation of the child’s work. The teacher can notice trends that might not otherwise be readily apparent through numerical data. For example, when a student sits down to take a multiple-choice test and performs poorly, there are a lot of factors that won’t be accessible simply from the student’s answers to the test. 

For example, one of the Desired Results is “Families support their children’s learning and development,” which takes into account the level of impact a child’s home life has on her educational experience. If Rylee gets a majority of her spelling words wrong, there’s no way to know that the reason why she wasn’t ready for the test was because her mom is working two jobs, and she’s having to be taken care of each evening by her older brother, who tries his best but isn’t a parent and so doesn’t think about helping Rylee study for her spelling test. 

With DRDP, teachers have a more holistic view of a child’s progress, which helps them to create an individualized curriculum for their students to address that each student needs at the appropriate time. 

For parents, the DRDP app gives them a greater level of personal involvement in their child’s education and development. They can see where their child’s progress is on each of the DRDP domains, and because of the holistic nature of DRDP as an observational assessment, a family’s contribution to the process is vitally important. 

With DRDP, parents can stay informed about their child’s accomplishments and celebrate with them at home. Additionally, they can track where their child’s struggles lie and help provide additional support at home.

How Learning Genie integrates with the DRDP app

If you’re a teacher, you may already be familiar with working through the DRDP app to track a student’s progress across all of the available measures, and it’s entirely possible that even the mention of completing the DRDP feels a bit overwhelming, but that’s where Learning Genie comes in to make things easier and create a seamless experience for both teachers and parents using DRDP.

Learning Genie is an all-in-one data-driven family engagement suite designed to provide two-way communication with auto-translation between teachers and parents. The program features a wide range of tools to help teachers and families support student learning, including the ability for teachers to assign activities for families to work on with their children at home

One of the features teachers appreciate most about Learning Genie is the way that it makes filling out the DRDP (2015) easier. In fact, our app has been reported to cut a teacher’s workload by 80%, increase productivity, and save school’s money.

Learning Genie helps educators complete the DRDP easier with the following features:

Because Learning Genie integrates so seamlessly with the DRDP app, teachers can record measurements and observation data on individual students in the app to be loaded directly to DRDP Online. Additionally, teachers and administrators have access to DRDP progress data right within the app. Learning Genie has a number of additional resources to help teachers save time and focus on serving students well.

This allows teachers to have a clear picture of where their students are and plan DRDP-aligned lessons to help their students’ progress in the DRDP domains.

For families, in addition to giving teachers more freedom to focus on their children’s DRDP progress, Learning Genie gives parents an all-day connection to their child and their teachers. Parents can get frequent updates throughout the day of their child’s day at school, including pictures and video, as well as communication on a child’s mood, class activities, learning content such as songs and books, and important parent reminders. Imagine hearing your child talk about the book she read in class or the song she sang and being able to pull it up to read or listen to it with your child on the Learning Genie app. Our focus is giving families the opportunity to develop the close bonds that help facilitate all of the Desired Results, but especially the ones related to family.

Parents can also use Learning Genie to communicate with their child’s teacher, making the app a one-stop family engagement suite.

Learning Genie and DRDP: Helping Families and Teachers

Thanks to Learning Genie and DRDP, when Claudia drops Emilia off at preschool, she doesn’t have to be in the dark about what’s happening throughout Emilia’s day or about how Emila’s progressing toward the goals she and Emilia’s teachers share. She could pull up the Learning Genie DRDP app for android as soon as she gets to her car to check in on Emilia’s day or wait until she gets home where she might get on the DRDP iPad app. 

Either way, she can rest easy, knowing that her teachers are using DRDP data to plan the best curriculum for Emilia’s progress.