Assessments and Screenings

Early Learning – Preschool

Launch believes that assessments and health screenings are essential to the growth and development of children. It is important to know where children are when they enter into the classroom so that teachers can partner with families to create pathways that prepare children for Kindergarten. The following are the assessments and health screenings that Launch provides children through our partnership in the Seattle’s Preschool Program:

Teaching Strategies Gold

Teachers at Launch assess student development with Teaching Strategies Gold (TSG).  Teachers take anecdotal notes and photographs of children’s learning experiences and record them into the TSG online tracking tool.  Teachers assess student learning in cognitive, language and literacy, social and emotional, and physical development; as well as the child’s learning in the core academic areas (science and technology, social studies, mathematics, the arts).

Teachers use their observations to create a summary of benchmarks the child has attained and what they have learned throughout the year. The teachers complete these summaries three times during the year, and use them for family-teacher conferences.  Teachers partner with the family to determine goals and next steps for their child.

Health Screenings

Launch collaborates with King County Public Health Department to administer:

  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Weight
  • Height

Upon completion of the health screenings the Public Health Nurse will provide referrals to health agencies if deemed necessary.

ASQ/ASQ:SE (Ages & Stages Questionnaire/Social Emotional)

Within 60 days of enrollment, each preschool child is given a developmental screening called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3). The ASQ-3 is a researched based, valid and reliable tool. The screening is used to determine if children may need further evaluation or monitoring for developmental delays. This questionnaire is a basic assessment of the child’s cognitive, physical, language, and social-emotional skills. If it is identified a child needs additional support services, we may refer them to ChildFind.

The ASQ:SE determines a child’s social-emotional competence and if a child should be provided individualized instruction in social skills or referred for further services.  Results of the ASQ are shared with parents at the first parent-teacher conferences in December.

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPV-T)

The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test is a proven valid and reliable assessment of preschooler’s receptive vocabulary. Students are shown a series of pictures and asked to identify the pictures in their own words. The test is given in the Fall and Spring to measure student progress. Individual student plans are created for children based on their scores on the PPVT.

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

CLASS is an observation instrument developed to assess classroom quality in preschool through third grade classrooms.

The key constructs include:

  • Emotional Support (positive and negative climate and regard for student perspectives)
  • Instructional Support (concept development, language modeling, quality of feedback)
  • Classroom Organization (behavior management, instructional learning formats, productivity)

CLASS assesses aspects of teacher warmth and responsiveness, organization and preparedness, communication and flexibility, and scaffolding of social-emotional and academic interactions across the classroom.

Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS)

The ECERS follows the items with numbered indicators at four quality levels. There are 43 items, organized into 7 subscales in the ECERS. Each of the numbered items represents a dimension found in any early childhood program to represent quality programming.

The 7 Subscales rate the following:


  • Space and Furnishings
  • Personal Care Routines
  • Language-Reasoning
  • Activities
  • Interactions
  • Program Structure
  • Families and Staff

Out-Of-School Time – School-age

Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA)

The Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA), developed and tested by the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, was designed to help afterschool programs serving grades K-5 to assess the extent to which their program provides a participatory, safe, supportive, youth-centered environment.  This tool allows program staff (or external specialists) to observe interactions between program staff and children during regular program sessions and to interview staff about how the program operates. These observations and interviews are used to create a program quality profile, to identify areas of improvement, and especially identify areas where staff may need professional development to meet program goals.

Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA)

The DESSA is a behavior rating scale that assesses skills related to social-emotional competence, resilience, and academic success of children in kindergarten through 5th grade, between the ages of 5 to 12.  The DESSA can be used to:

  • Identify social-emotional strengths and needs of elementary and middle school children
  • Produce classroom profiles that guide universal prevention and promotion strategies
  • Identify at-risk children who have specific social-emotional needs
  • Produce individual student profiles that guide targeted prevention strategies
  • For special education students, identify important strengths that can be incorporated into Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Evaluate social-emotional learning outcomes at the child, class, grade, school, and district level