MD Child Outcomes Gateway  

Getting Started

COS Training Plan

  Rationale

The Maryland Early Childhood Intervention and Education System of Services is committed to providing effective services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with developmental delays and disabilities and their families. As a result of participating in services, young children will have improved: social-emotional skills, including social relationships; acquisition and use of knwoledge and skills to engage in activities; and use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs and gain independence. This requires a competent workforce trained in understanding the three early childhood outcomes and in implementing the COS Rating Process with fidelity. The ENHANCE Research Project (2016) concluded that when implemented as intended, the COS Process produces ratings that are valid for accountability and program improvement purposes. This guide provides a consistent plan for initial and ongoing training and support for all early childhood special education personnel as well as supplemental resources for additional support and / or to share with families and community partners.

  Training Plan

Initial Training

The ENHANCE Research Project recommends 12 hours of training for personnel new to the COS process. The MSDE outlines the following components of a comprehensive training protocol to ensure consistent processes and procedures across the state.

calendar
New employees must complete the ECTA Center / DaSy Child Outcomes Summary (COS) Online Learning Modules within two weeks of hire.
  1. New employees complete the ECTA Center / DaSy Child Outcomes Summary (COS) Online Learning Modules within two weeks of hire. The modules take approximately two hours to complete.
  2. New employees observe at least two real-time COS rating processes with co-workers.
  3. On-site face-to-face training conducted (individually or in groups) (within 60 days of hire) using the MD Birth to Kindergarten Child Outcomes Gateway site. Training must be in person and takes approximately 10 hours to complete.
  4. Personnel need to complete and pass the Maryland COS Competency Check, including the knowledge assessment questions. If they do not pass, the supervisor / training team need to develop a follow-up training plan to address areas still needing development.
  5. Personnel need to pass the COS Competency Check (COS-CC) Level I and Level II (when available).
  6. Supervisors / Training team review at least the first three records of new personnel completing the COS process to monitor documentation of authentic assessment, age-anchoring practices, and evidence and justification of COS rating. Feedback and reflection shared with the new employee.
COS Fidelity and Refresher Training

Annually, programs use the Child Outcomes Summary Team Collaboration (COS-TC) Quality Practices site for continued reflection and improvement of teaming practices. The COS-TC Quality Practices site includes:

  • Quality Practices Checklists
  • Descriptions and Examples
  • Video Clips

  Printable Training Guide & Checklist

For your ease of reference, feel free to use this printable version of the Child Outcomes Birth to Kindergarten Training Guide & Checklist [DOC]. The printable version incorporates the training plan as well as a checklist for staff files.

COS Training Materials

Birth to Kindergarten Early Childhood Outcomes Training

  B-to-K COS Training [interactive]    

This training package has been developed to support local trainers in delivering initial face-to-face professional development regarding early childhood outcomes and the child outcomes summary process. All the materials needed for training, including presentation slides with and without notes and all handouts and activities, are available in the package.

Impacting Maryland School Readiness: Data Analysis Training Series

  COS Data Analysis Training Materials    

Access to training materials and resources used during the three-part data analysis training series for coordinators and trainers. All materials needed for training, including presentation slides and all handouts and activities are included. These materials are password protected and intended for use by those who were present during the training. Requests for the password can be sent to support link.

Child Outcomes Step-by-Step video

  Child Outcome Step-by-Step [video]    

The Child Outcome Step-by-Step video offers a consistent way to describe the outcome areas across programs and states. It can be used to provide an overview to the three outcomes for professional development and training, orienting families, and introducing the outcomes to other constituents such as policymakers or funders. The video explains functioning necessary for each child to be an active and successful participant at home, in the community, and in other places like a child care program or preschool.

COS Fidelity & Refresher Training

Annual Training Resource

  COS-TC [site]  

The online practice gives Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education providers online access to the COS-TC Quality Practice Checklist and Descriptions, and allows you to practice your learning by watching video clips of COS team meetings with families and rating the extent to which providers in the video used COS-TC quality practices.

The content is intended for those providers who have completed the initial training plan, as well as for trainers supporting teams in the COS process. By providers we mean professionals working with children and families in early learning and development programs to improve outcomes for young children with disabilities.

Additional Case Studies for Ongoing Training

These case studies, adapted from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center, provide additional opportunities to practice the COS process utilizing the four core components. No information or details were modified from the original ECTA case studies. Assessment information is shown documented in Maryland forms to illustrate use of the core components.

 

01  |  Kim at 17 month

All materials are included here for this practice example

01  |  Kim Case Study: 17 Months

 Kim Case Study: 17 Months: Case study for Kim at age 17 months, including: medical and developmental background, family routines and priorities, and child developmental information.

02  |  Blank Assessment Organizing Tool

 Blank Assessment Organizing Tool: Use this tool to document information and observations gathered throughout authentic assessment. Early childhood specialists should be sure to use descriptive and objective statements when writing their assessment notes.

03  |  Kim (17 Months): Assessment Organizing Tool

 Kim (17 Months): Assessment Organizing Tool: Completed Assessment Organizing Tool for Kim at age 17 months based on information provided in Kim's case study.

04  |  Blank COS Rating Prep Tool

 Blank COS Rating Prep Tool: Tool used to synthesize all information regarding the child’s functional abilities relative to each outcome and in light of age-expected development (i.e., age-expected, immediate foundational, and foundational). Use of the COS Rating Prep Tool helps teams quantify and visualize where the child’s behaviors / skills fall in a developmental progression (AE-IF-F) that will lead to a consensus about ratings.

05  |  Kim (17 Months): COS Rating Prep Tool

 Kim (17 Months): COS Rating Prep Tool: Completed COS Rating Prep Tool for Kim at age 17 months based on information provided in Kim's case study.

 

02  |  Kim at 35 months

All materials are included here for this practice example

01  |  Kim Case Study: 35 Months

 Kim Case Study: 35 Months: Case study for Kim at age 35 months, including: medical and developmental background, family routines and priorities, and child developmental information.

02  |  Blank Assessment Organizing Tool

 Blank Assessment Organizing Tool: Use this tool to document information and observations gathered throughout authentic assessment. Early childhood specialists should be sure to use descriptive and objective statements when writing their assessment notes.

03  |  Kim (35 Months): Assessment Organizing Tool

 Kim (35 Months): Assessment Organizing Tool: Completed Assessment Organizing Tool for Kim at age 35 months based on information provided in Kim's case study.

04  |  Blank COS Rating Prep Tool

 Blank COS Rating Prep Tool: Tool used to synthesize all information regarding the child’s functional abilities relative to each outcome and in light of age-expected development (i.e., age-expected, immediate foundational, and foundational). Use of the COS Rating Prep Tool helps teams quantify and visualize where the child’s behaviors / skills fall in a developmental progression (AE-IF-F) that will lead to a consensus about ratings.

05  |  Kim (35 Months): COS Rating Prep Tool

 Kim (35 Months): COS Rating Prep Tool: Completed COS Rating Prep Tool for Kim at age 35 months based on information provided in Kim's case study.

 

03  |  Ava at 40 months

All materials are included here for this practice example

01  |  Ava Case Study: 40 Months

 Ava Case Study: 40 Months: Case study for Ava at age 40 months, including: medical and developmental background, family routines and priorities, and child developmental information.

02  |  Blank Assessment Organizing Tool

 Blank Assessment Organizing Tool: Use this tool to document information and observations gathered throughout authentic assessment. Early childhood specialists should be sure to use descriptive and objective statements when writing their assessment notes.

03  |  Ava (40 Months): Assessment Organizing Tool

 Ava (40 Months): Assessment Organizing Tool: Completed Assessment Organizing Tool for Ava at age 40 months based on information provided in Ava's case study.

04  |  Blank COS Rating Prep Tool

 Blank COS Rating Prep Tool: Tool used to synthesize all information regarding the child’s functional abilities relative to each outcome and in light of age-expected development (i.e., age-expected, immediate foundational, and foundational). Use of the COS Rating Prep Tool helps teams quantify and visualize where the child’s behaviors / skills fall in a developmental progression (AE-IF-F) that will lead to a consensus about ratings.

05  |  Ava (40 Months): COS Rating Prep Tool

 Ava (40 Months): COS Rating Prep Tool: Completed COS Rating Prep Tool for Ava at age 40 months based on information provided in Ava's case study.

Additional Training Resources

COS training by topic, multiple videos, and various websites are available to support and enhance COS training and coaching activities.

 

01  |  COS Training by Topic

These recorded PowerPoint presentations of the COS training, arranged by topic, may be used in addition to the initial face-to-face training.

01  |  COS Training by Topic

 COS Training by Topic [interactive]: These recorded PowerPoint presentations of the COS training, arranged by topic, may be used in addition to the initial face-to-face training. Examples of when and how to use them include:

  • During 1:1 coaching or supervision sessions for additional or clarifying information
  • As part of team professional development and / or group discussions
 

02  |  Videos

These video clips offer multiple opportunities to practice observation skills, a critical characteristic of authentic assessment.

01  |  Video Clips for Practicing Observation and Documentation Skills

 Practicing Observation and Documentation Skills: These video clips were developed to be used in professional development activities to give early care and education providers an opportunity to practice observation and documentation skills.

02  |  Observation Practice

 Observation Practice: This ELA resource provides opportunities for early care and education providers to practice authentic observation skills using videos.

03  |  A Mom Talks with the Director of Special Education

 A Mom Talks with the Director of Special Education: This video is a humorous example of how not to talk to parents about the special education process and highlights the importance of listening.

04  |  Make Way for (More) Authentic Assessment: 5-Part Series

Dr. Naomi Younggren presents this series on authentic assessment as means of identifying and enhancing young children’s natural and inclusive learning opportunities. The importance of functionality is highlighted.

 Make Way for (More) Authentic Assessment: Intro
 Make Way for (More) Authentic Assessment: Part 1
 Make Way for (More) Authentic Assessment: Part 2
 Make Way for (More) Authentic Assessment: Part 3
 Make Way for (More) Authentic Assessment: Part 4a
 Make Way for (More) Authentic Assessment: Part 4b
 Make Way for (More) Authentic Assessment: Part 5

05  |  Authentic Assessment, Child Outcomes, and the Connection: 3-Part Series

This three-part professional learning webinar series, developed by international early childhood special education expert Dr. Naomi Younggren, delves into the essential knowledge providers need for both authentic assessment and the Child Outcomes Summary (COS) process. The final webinar explores how authentic assessment informs the COS process by supporting teams to achieve quality COS ratings.

 Authentic Assessment, Child Outcomes, and the Connection: Part 1
 Authentic Assessment, Child Outcomes, and the Connection: Part 2
 Authentic Assessment, Child Outcomes, and the Connection: Part 3

 

03  |  Websites

These websites offer additional learning activities to build upon and strengthen the understanding and use of authentic and formative assessment.

01  |  A Focus on Observation

 A Focus on Observation: This Early Learning Assessment (ELA) resource assists early care and education providers to articulate the benefits of observation and identify ways to observe young children.

02  |  Formative Assessment

 Formative Assessment: This ELA resource supports early care and education providers to identify the components of formative assessment and articulate the benefits.

03  |  Formative Assessment Enrichment

 Formative Assessment Enrichment: This ELA enrichment interactive allows early care and education providers to dig into the formative assessment cycle.

MD COS Competency Check

MD COS Competency Check

As part of the training, all personnel are required to complete and pass the Maryland COS Competency Check, including knowledge assessment questions. To evaluate your learning, you will now complete these activities.

Section A presents an assessment with content knowledge questions. These questions are in a multiple-choice format.

Section B involves specific details of a case study, i.e., Braylon, with activities designed to increase your knowledge and awareness of Braylon’s development of functional skills. In order to adequately prepare yourself for the COS Rating Prep Tool activity, you should thoroughly review the content in Sections 01 through 05 and complete all activities. Upon familiarizing yourself with that content, move to the Section for the COS Rating Prep Tool.

Section C allows you to enter a COS rating using the information from Braylon's case study documented in Section B. Provide your COS rating for Braylon in Section 08.

----------------------------------------
     SECTION A: PREP
----------------------------------------
 
01  |  Knowledge Check

Complete this questionnaire about functional skills and age anchoring.

----------------------------------------
     SECTION B: REVIEW
----------------------------------------
 
02  |  Meet Braylon

Review the following video and get to know Braylon.

 
03  |  Braylon's Case Study Introduction

Consider Braylon's Referral, Birth History, and Developmental Evaluation Results.

 
04  |  Braylon's Evaluation and Assessment Summary

Go through the evaluation and assessment summary and reflect on how Braylon's behaviors and skills relate to the three early childhood outcomes.

Adaptive: Braylon is nearly potty trained and has only a few accidents in a week. He sometimes needs reminders to use the potty when shopping or in less familiar settings. But he will also indicate his need to use the potty without prompting. Braylon eats independently using a spoon, pokes food with a fork, cuts with a knife, and drinks from an open cup without spilling. When spills happen Braylon assists with cleaning up the spill by wiping the area when given a rag to do so. Braylon puts on and takes off clothing but needs help when pants and shirts are snugly fitted. Sometimes Braylon is particular about how his pants come over his boots or how other clothes lay on his body. When this happens, he asks for help using single words or gestures to have his parents help him situate his clothing just right.

Social/Emotional: Braylon is a social little boy with favored playmates. He knows the names of his frequent playmates and when they are playing together he will call them to join him (e.g., “come on”). Braylon engages in rough and tumble play with his younger brother. He is also proficient with trading toys with his younger brother. Yet, on occasion Braylon needs some adult help when a conflict over a toy escalates. With adult encouragement and reminders Braylon will let the other child have a turn (e.g., waits his turn during bowling or swinging at the park). If his brother or another child is hurt, Braylon responds with concerned attention. He is also very gentle around babies and will often bring them a toy or something if they are fussing. Braylon frequently says please and thank you when requesting or receiving a desired item (e.g., a requested toy or food item). In familiar settings, like his parents friends homes, Braylon easily separates from his parents. When out and about he is stays by his parents and follows general safety rules about being out and about.

Communication: Braylon has made notable progress in his communication skill development since the family started with early intervention. His parents now understand about 60% of what he says in context. He demonstrates greater interest in pictures and books and points to and names several familiar pictures. When he does not know the name of the item he will demonstrate or say the action (e.g., looking at highchair he responded “baby sit,” looking at the picture of a watch he looked to the watches he saw others wearing). Braylon regularly adds animation or action to pictures he sees in books (e.g., saying oooh when he sees a bug, pretending to smell the flower in a book, making a flying action in response to a picture of a bird). Braylon follows several one step directions (e.g., put X in the trash, go get your X from your room). If the direction is familiar or if he’s given a prompt or gesture, like a point, he will correctly respond. He is working on learning descriptive words and concepts such as big/little, long/short, hot/cold, beside/under. Braylon frequently asks “what’s that?” or “where’s ___?” Braylon talks in one to three or four word sentences, but the longer the sentence the more difficult it is to understand what he is saying. When trying to convey a message – like talking about the snow outside – he repeats several words over and over (e.g., snowman, all better, fix it) rather than using a variety of words to tell his story. He is working on building his vocabulary to tell others about what he sees, what he’s doing, or what has happened.

During articulation testing, Braylon named approximately half of the words that were pictured and required for completion of the test. Although he inconsistently repeated the names of items during the testing, he most often repeats back words that his parents ask him to during day to day interactions and playful games. When his parents say a word slowly and enunciate it Braylon often repeats it, sounding like or very close to the real word. The following are some of his responses during the articulation testing: house, dohwe/window, dup/cup, nite/knife, girl, poon/spoon, money/monkey, wa’eh/watch, fe’eh/feather, bentsil/pencil, peen/green, and ehper/zipper. As part of the speech and language sample taken Braylon produced nearly 40 utterances consisting of words and phrases unrelated to the articulation testing. Some examples from that sample include: es ha/it’s hot, pay/play, eh/egg, man doing, es obeh/it’s open, nowmah/snowman, ah do/I do, Mama es eh/Mama get egg, eh fah/it fall, I kee/I clean, es a baby wawa/it’s a baby rabbit, es back/its black, mama woo/mama look. Braylon’s speech intelligibility (i.e., the degree to which others can understand what he says) for unfamiliar listeners is closer to 50%. Most of Braylon’s error patterns are still considered typical or slightly below his age (final consonant deletion, substitution, cluster reduction, reduplication, unstressed syllable deletion), but there were a couple of instances of initial consonant deletion, which is an error patterns for a younger child.

Motor: Motor skills continue to be a strength area for Braylon. He recently learned how to turn a somersault on the living room floor. He also catches a playground size ball thrown to him from about five feet away. Braylon climbs on furniture and playground equipment and successfully goes up and down the steps at the family’s home, sometimes placing only one foot on each step going both up and down. Braylon consistently uses his right hand in most activities and most often uses a three figure (adult type grasp) when coloring. He copies vertical and horizontal strokes and is learning to make circles, which he calls eggs. Braylon successfully completes inset puzzles effectively turning the pieces until they fit properly. He recently tried using scissors and was able to snip paper using a two-handed grasp on the scissors. With hand under hand prompting he used a one handed grasp to snip paper.

Cognitive: Braylon is learning the names of colors and knows the names of red, blue, yellow, orange, and green when asked to show me “X” colored item. He also identifies red and black (e.g., when playing with a red box he spontaneously said it’s a red box, he’ll also refer to his black Spiderman). His favorite color is red. When given a circle, square, and triangle he matches the shapes with a little prompting, but is not yet spontaneously naming the shapes. He does however know stars and hearts in books and will spontaneously label them. Braylon counts 1-2-1-2 and has counted to five when encouraged and prompted. When asked to give or get just one he does so inconsistently showing emerging understanding of the concept one. He nests four cups together and is persistent to stay with and complete the activity. During play, Braylon pretends to make his Spiderman fight, fly, kiss, eat, and sleep, most often linking two to three actions. When looking at books, Braylon turns the pages one at a time, knows how to have the book in an upright position, and identifies and names several familiar pictures. Braylon participates in songs and finger plays, such as Itsy Bitsy Spider, by making some of the actions and singing some of the words to the finger play song.

 
05  |  Braylon's Functional Assessment Summary

Review the completed Assessment Organizing Tool used to summarize Braylon's assessment informaton. Then, consider how his behaviors and skills have been matched to each of the three early childhood outcome areas.

Assessment Organizing Tool

Assessment Organizing Tool: Braylon [PDF]

Use all authentic assessment information (ie. RBI notes, observations) to categorize each of the functional knowledge, skills, and behaviors in the appropriate outcome area.

Positive Social Relationships: Braylon and his younger brother play together often by rough housing and doing things like jumping on the bed. Braylon has 2 friends he plays particularly well with. He plays alongside them and contributes ideas to their play (e.g., let’s go in the tent, you take this toy). He is not yet planning play scenarios such as “I’m the driver,” or “you’re the baby.” Braylon shows interest in other children by going to where they are and initiating interactions either by saying something or joining them in what they are doing. When it comes to sharing toys, Braylon will offer a toy to another child, provided it is not his favorite one. If it’s his favorite he’ll say “mine.” He also trades or offers toys to his younger brother. When out and about, like shopping or running errands, Braylon notices other children and sometimes offers greetings by saying hi or bye or showing them something. He shows interest in talking to others and will try to share something about what he had done, yet he does not always have the words to convey his full message. For example, after seeing a movie recently he was trying to tell a little girl and her mom about the movie, but he adjusted the topic back to Spiderman and a recent owie he had on his finger. While Braylon engages in back and forth conversations and rarely demonstrates any frustration when others do not understand him he often resorts back to similar topics or phrases he knows, moving the topic from the one at hand. As the family does different things during the day Braylon adapts easily to changes in the routines and activities and follows most adult requests related to the day to day routine. He now stays at the table during meals and engages in simple conversation when it is a topic of interest (e.g., Spiderman). Yet, his contribution to the conversation is short phrases. Braylon displays great interest in back and forth conversations, but does not have the full vocabulary to convey the messages he wants to so he tends to use words that are already in his repertoire. When asked to follow a rule, like no hitting, he understands, but sometimes tests the limit. When this happens he goes to time out and after a few minutes he generally calms on his own and is okay to resume his play. He cries when he is upset, but is generally happy and shows this by smiling and laughing often. He is also showing advances in his sense of humor. Recently, he laughs at “potty talk.” He’ll say things like “butt”, “toilet” or “poopy” and then laugh.

Acquires and Uses Knowledge & Skills: Braylon’s favorite toy is Spiderman. When playing, he moves Spiderman’s body parts to make him do a variety of things, such as ride in a car, sleep, eat, go to the potty, fight, fly, and jump. He has interest in other toys and things as well, such as coloring on paper, painting, riding ride on toys, and climbing on the playground. Braylon puts things where they belong if reminded and encouraged to do so (e.g., put the toys in the basket). During play he shows creativity, such as when drawing a circle he’ll call it an egg and then ask his mom to crack it. She then responds by drawing a crack in his egg and he laughs and proceeds to ask for more. He will also try to draw spiders or ask others to do that. He will draw the body part and makes marks to draw the legs, but then often asks for his mom or dad to complete it for him. When asked what something is that has been drawn he typically labels it (e.g., “it’s a spider”, “it’s egg”). Braylon turns the pages, looks at books, and will bring books to his parents for them to read to him. He will sit for a story being read to him if there are not other distractions around, although he does not always stay engaged in the entire story. When looking at books he knows the names of several items and is starting to recognize more about the actions of things in books. For example, he can identify, by pointing at, who is running, drinking, or sleeping. He does not however typically use the words to name those or other actions. A favored finger play of Braylon’s is the Itsy Bitsy Spider. He remembers part of the finger play as well as some of the key words. He also does parts of patty cake. He answers questions like “what’s your name” by saying “Braylon” and can follow several one step requests, such as “get your cup”, “bring me a diaper for your brother”, or “go get your red Spiderman”. Braylon is also starting to ask “why” and “how” questions. With pre-academic concepts, Braylon matches colors and shapes during play activities. He names hearts and stars when he sees them pictured in familiar books and often refers to circles as eggs. He knows the meanings of mine and yours and his and hers, but does not typically say them when talking about other’s things. If asked to take just one of something or give one - like “give me one chip” - he will give you a chip or more, not showing functional understanding of the concept of one. Braylon rote counts 1-2-1-2 and is working on counting to five, but often misses 3. When talking Braylon typically says 2-3 word sentences. When he strings together words in a sentence, he becomes more difficult to understand unless the context is quite apparent.

Uses Appropriate Behavior to Meet Needs: Braylon gets up on his own or plays in his room before going to see who else is up. To get what he wants, Braylon typically asks using 1-2 words. If he is not understood he will try another way to express what he wants. He rarely gets frustrated and often finds a way to either get what he wants on his own (e.g., climbing up to get something from the cupboard) or asking in another way. At meal times, Braylon uses a spoon and fork independently to eat and drinks from a cup replacing it on the table upright. He recently independently used the drinking fountain at school on his own as there was a short step in front. Both at home and out in the community Braylon shows safety awareness by not running out in the street or away from his parents and stays away from the stove when it’s on. When his nose is running he will wipe it with a Kleenex, if one is available or given to him. During bath time he tries to wash himself and will use the towel to dry off with a little bit of help. He knows the steps to brushing his teeth as well as the steps to washing his hands after using the toilet. Braylon is mostly toilet trained showing consistent daytime control. When clothes are fairly easy (i.e., not too tight or with lots of buttons) Braylon puts them on and takes them off. He can put clothes on a hook if it is the right height. Braylon shows good balance to be able to stand on one foot, jump up and down with both feet, and dance to music or make Spiderman moves. He is also quite good with a ball and generally kicks and throws them with accuracy by getting the ball to the target (e.g., another person or a basket or pretend target). Braylon has outgrown the afternoon nap and follows the directions and routines to go to bed without fussing.

 
06  |  COS Rating Prep Tool

Complete the COS Rating Prep Tool by age-anchoring the information in the Assessment Organizing Tool.

Now that you have reviewed Braylon’s case study, use the completed Assessment Organizing Tool [PDF] and your own age-anchoring tools to identify Braylon’s behaviors and skills and categorize them as Age-Expected (AE), Immediate Foundational (IF), or Foundational (F). Enter this information in the appropriate columns in the COS Rating Prep Tool.

----------------------------------------
     SECTION C: RATE
----------------------------------------
 
07  |  Maryland Birth to Kindergarten COS Decision Tree

Review and download the COS Decision Tree.

 
08  |  Complete the COS Rating for Braylon

Select a rating for each early childhood outcome using both the COS Rating Prep Tool and the COS Decision Tree.