Data-Driven Family Engagement Tools for Head Start and State Preschools

Learning Genie is an app for ECE educators and family service workers for Distant Learning and Family Engagement including tracking in-kind. During the COVID-19 crisis, Learning Genie offers free tools till the end of 2020 under a grant (or in-kind) to support all ECE agencies for Distance Learning and track school readiness outcomes.


Learning Genie also provides a useful application for portfolio-building. The portfolio tracking and tagging systems could be readily applied to DRDP 2015, Florida VPK, Head Start (HS), Early Head Start (EHS), Montessori, and other state or private-backed assessment tools.

Lindsay Unified School District Universal Transitional Kindergarten

Cheri Doria – Director of Early Childhood Education

January 2023

01. Why did we decide to expand TK in our district and what were some of the  obstacles? 

  • When TK was implemented in fall 2012, our district basically had TK/K combos at all six of the elementary sites.Some learning facilitators didn’t even know who their TK learners were.
  • Each year we advocated and fought for “real” TK learning environments (LEs), not combo classes.It took a while (3 years), but it was finally approved to create TK only learning environments. In August 2015, we opened 2 TK learning environments at two of the 6 elementary sites.
  • This was better than the TK/K combos that we had before; however, it still wasn’t ideal or developmentally appropriate.The ratio was 27:1 and the learning environments didn’t have restrooms.
  • We knew this still wasn’t the best learning experience for our learners, so I then contacted that State and received approval to do a PreK/TK learning environment, in which we do a wraparound/stacking program with CSPP and TK.This has created a seamless full-day TK experience.
  • We began our CSPP PreK/TK Program in August 2017.We currently have 3 TK learning environments and we are planning to open an additional TK learning environment/s each year to eventually have at least one TK at each of the six elementary school sites and more as needed.

First stage: Planning

In this stage, you agree with your team about the changes that will be tested and plan your actions within the cycle. You will also form a team to manage the process and be responsible for the PDSA cycle. A good idea would be to use hypotheses on what would happen if you did this or that. At this stage, you need to determine exactly what your goals are and what you want to achieve. It’s also a good idea to figure out which metrics you’ll be using to measure your change.

To start the cycle, define an issue and the expected outcome.

It could be a department that is not functioning as it should, a work process that is not delivering the expected results, or any kind of recurring problem or improvement needed. After defining the issue, find hypotheses of what could possibly be done to improve or solve the issue. Make an action plan with goals you want to achieve.

Second Stage: Do

This phase is when you make changes or tests. This may be a very small test, and you may be running multiple tests at the same time, but this is when the action happens. It is also the stage where you will observe and start collecting data for analysis in the next step of the cycle. We at Learning Genie have specially designed a PDSA template that you can use to document all your findings.

Implement the plan. Monitor results

Apply the interventions needed to change the previous scenario and monitor the results for a period of time. Collecting data is important in this step, so document it.

Third Stage: Study

You will now need to study the data you have collected, which will be based on the results agreed at the planning stage. After collecting the data, you can review, discuss and reflect with your team on the impact of changes and tests and what you have learned. Now is the time to agree on what needs to be adjusted or whether the test needs to be dropped — or, in fact, whether the results mean that positive results can be obtained by moving forward.

Time to review the outcome

Check the signs of progress and success of your actions, or if any problems come out to be improved. A great idea is to hold weekly or monthly meetings where you will review results and make the adjustments needed.