OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 3, 2021) – To enable teachers to quickly determine student learning and development after a year of pandemic disruptions, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) announced today that the Oklahoma Early Learning Inventory (ELI) is available at no cost to all kindergarten and first-grade teachers.
During the 2020-21 school year, Oklahoma saw dips in school enrollment for the first time in nearly two decades. Three-fourths of the declines occurred in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, suggesting many families opted to delay enrollment during the worst periods of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In a few short weeks, thousands of children will enter kindergarten and first-grade classrooms with vastly different early learning experiences, largely due to the disruptions of the pandemic,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “With research-based tools like the Oklahoma Early Learning Inventory, teachers can make swift and strategic decisions to ensure each child in their classrooms is on track to gain the prerequisite skills needed for success in reading and math.”
The Oklahoma ELI training will occur through the OSDE’s online learning platform, OSDE Connect. Once the approximately six-hour training module has been completed, teachers can use the ELI rubrics during the first month of instruction to determine individual student knowledge and skills and communicate student progress with families. The tool can also be used to check student progress during the school year.
Any kindergarten or first-grade teacher in an Oklahoma public school whose instruction takes place in person can access the training module and ELI tools at no cost. The OSDE, in partnership with REL-Southwest, will also pilot the Oklahoma ELI in 14 districts to study its use and effectiveness. Pilot districts include Chouteau-Mazie, Claremore, Crescent, Dale, Edmond, Glenpool, Mustang, Oklahoma City, Peggs, Stringtown, Stuart, Wapanucka, Watts and Whitebead.
“The Early Learning Inventory will provide early childhood teachers with a high-quality formative assessment across multiple domains of learning,” said Stephanie Hinton, Director of Early Childhood for Oklahoma City Public Schools. “Using this tool, we will be able to better identify which skills individual students are entering the early grades with and be able to track the progression of learning across the school year.”
The Oklahoma Early Learning Inventory is an initiative under Ready Together Oklahoma: An Action Plan for Supporting Students Through the Pandemic and Beyond. The OSDE launched the plan in May with online resources to support schools and communities with federal relief funds. Learn more on the Oklahoma Early Learning Inventory web page and in this FAQ document.