THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY OF THE RESEARCH AND EVALUATION DEPARTMENT
One of the primary responsibilities of Keiki O Ka Aina's Research and Evaluation Department is to continually monitor the progress for our entire program which includes, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), Parent Participation Preschools (PPP�s including Hawaiian Language PPP�s), and Parents as Teachers (PAT)
We use this information to refine our programs, and address individual needs when ever possible.
Research-based information provides us with hard evidence that we can use to document the success of our programs, and allows us to apply for funding to keep our programs going.
Did you know that KOKA employs over 70 part and full time employees and has served over 1,300 children and 1,500 parents and/or care givers over the last year?
WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE DATA COLLECTION PROCESS?
The Research and Evaluation Director Carla Hostetter works in cooperation with Earl Hishinuma, Ph.D. of the University of Hawaii Department of child and adolescent Psychiatry, and the Executive Staff of KOKA-FLC to design and implement an evaluation plan that is appropriate for documenting the impact or positive effects of KOKA-FLC programs on the population that we serve. The research and evaluation support staff then works with individual program managers and their staff to distribute appropriate assessments to parents, and train staff members to assist in the administration and scoring of assessment that are in someway related to our program goals and objectives.
WHAT ABOUT CONFIDENTIALITY?
All research department staff including test administrators and data processing personnel are required to sign confidentiality statements to help ensure that information about children and families remain confidential. Organization wide measures will soon be implemented to ensure that research data and information be physically secured with a three lock system, in which information is stored, coded, and locked.
HOW DO WE TEST PRESCHOOL AGE CHILDREN?
Ideally, a random sample group from the preschool age population is selected, and invited to participate in our testing at the beginning of the year. We schedule a testing appointment in order to administer our first tests to the child.
Details of the testing process are available on this page and will be given to parents prior to testing and participation in the program.
WHAT ACTUALLY TAKES PLACE DURING TESTING ?
Test administrators are trained to follow a specific testing protocol for each test that may be administered in the pre- and post-testing phases of testing.
Please do your best to encourage polite conversation and create a positive environment for your child. This may include talking to the child about testing prior to your visit to the office, as well as, introducing your child to the test administrator, and giving your child permission to "play some games" with the tester.
The professional test administrator is expected to develop an immediate rapport with the parent, and then the child. They will introduce the child to the activities that they will be doing together, and then they will begin.
Our first test, a receptive vocabulary test, provides children with an opportunity to identify pictures by name. They are shown a page with four pictures on it, then they are asked to point to the most appropriate picture.
The tester begins by training the child, or rather giving the child the opportunity to show that they understand how this game is played. The tester may say, "I have a game I want to play. I want you to look at these four pictures and then point to the one that I say. Can you show me the baby? The child is encouraged to physically touch the picture of the baby with their finger. When the child demonstrate ability to do this activity twice, the testing begins and the test administrator documents the child�s responses.
If the child should come to a portion of the test where they are no longer responsive, the tester will repeat the request, and pause. If the child does not respond, the tester ask them to "do their best and select the picture that is best, then pauses. If the child still does not respond, the tester asks if they would like to go on? And says "would you like me to turn the page? In many cases, if the child has not responded to these three attempts, the child will agree to move on to the next page, or is encouraged at that point to continue.
An additional screen is given to children who are randomly sampled, and parents can expect that this screen which is age appropriate and administered by a test administrator will be given to all children enrolled in our programs. This requires that the tester complete a series of fun activities with the child that allow us to assess their verbal, social emotional, physical and cognitive development. Test administration follows a pre-established schedule of activities, but depending on the child, and the judgment of the test administrator, changes in the order can be made to accommodate full participation from the child. For example, if a child prefers not to speak at the beginning of the assessment, block activities or physical movements, may a more appropriate way to "open the door" to verbal interactions.
CRITERION REFERENCED TESTING
The HIPPY program has been administering and in-house criterion referenced tests for new first-time HIPPY enrollees. These assessments are administered at the beginning and the end of the year for first time HIPPY enrollees who are either 3 or 4 year olds. The instrument provides a evaluates changes in the child�s ability to demonstrate new learning over the year based on activities that will be introduced in the HIPPY curriculum.
WHAT ABOUT PARENT ASSESSMENTS FOR PARENTS OF PRESCHOOL AGE CHILDREN?
Parents of preschool age children are given a Parenting assessment at the beginning of the year along with additional child, family and individual stress assessments. Which are to be re-administered at the end of the year.
WHY KEEP FILLING OUT THE SAME FORMS?
Continuous feedback is very important to us, and that is why you may think that you have previously filled out assessments that seem familiar. These assessments are called repeated measures. They provide us with useful information that helps to demonstrate the positive effects of our programs.
WHAT OTHER ASSESSMENTS ARE PARENTS ASKED TO COMPLETE?
The Ages and Stages Questionnaires provide parents with an opportunity to assess their own children at the beginning and the end of the school year. These questionnaires provide parents with insights in to the expected developmental processes of young children between the ages of three to 65 months. Questions are based on documented milestones of development and can provide a initial screening mechanism that can help parents document possible delays and information that they may need to help them when following up with their pediatrician or other health care professional.
Parent Educators in our programs, as well as, Play group Facilitators are trained to score the questionnaires and ensure that concerns that are beyond the scope of their expertise are answered by following our Referral-Response system.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT MY CHILD�S HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT?
Many questions and concerns about a child�s development can be handled with resources and information available through the Resource Handbook, or by calling Parent Line at (808) 526-1222.
Immediate concerns about your child should be referred to a pediatrician or other health care professional as soon as possible.
HOW DOES KOKA FLC ASSESS VERY YOUNG CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 3 YEARS OLD?
We firmly believe that parents are the child�s best teacher. Even so, they know more about their child than anyone else. The Ages and Stages Questionnaires provide parents with one of the best ways for parents to assess very young children.
Parents of two and two and a half year old's may also request an additional developmental screen that can be administered by testing professional. The appropriate candidate for this test will be able to separate from the parent and interact with another adult for approximately 10 minutes.
WHAT ABOUT LONGITUDINAL TESTING AND PARTICIPATION?
Keiki O Ka Aina began officially administering and testing participants of the KOKA FLC programs in the 2002/2003 school year. Testing has continued throughout 2003/2004 school year, and will continue in 2004/2005.
A longitudinal study is planned to capture the long term impact of Keiki O Ka Aina Family Learning Center programs on parents and children who have participated in them. We will be inviting parents of children who have scored both on the high and low end of our testing instruments, as well as, selecting a random sample from the children who have scored in the average range. The study is expected to follow children through they high school graduation years and beyond.
We will collect a wide range of information from parents, and their children, as well as teachers that work with the children over the years. Participation will be completely voluntary. Parents will be asked to provide consent that will allow us to collect various test scores concerning their child over the years. We will also be asking parents to cooperate with us as well collect more information using paper and telephone surveys. Focus groups for parents and children will also be conducted to collect relevant information for analysis. Self assessments of the child/adolescent and young adults are also expected to be considered along with teacher reports from year to year.