The Advancing Effective Interactions and Instruction (AEII) initiative is led by the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, in close partnership with the Virginia Department of Education and other key stakeholders. Each partner brings a unique set of expertise that makes AEII possible.
The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning
The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Human Development is an interdisciplinary research and development center that partners with educators to study effective teaching and learning and translate research findings into practice.
The Virginia Department of Education
The mission of Virginia’s public education system is to lead and facilitate the development and implementation of a quality public education system that meets the needs of Virginia’s students and assists them in becoming educated, productive, responsible, and self-reliant citizens. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) helps prepare all children for kindergarten by supporting birth to five programming, including the Virginia Preschool Initiative and Early Childhood Special Education. Quality early learning experiences are an essential element to preparing children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. The VDOE Office of Early Childhood provides oversight and guidance to CASTL in their implementation of AEII to help ensure that this initiative is useful for division leaders, principals, and teachers.
The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) is a partner in the state’s efforts to measure and improve the quality of teacher-child interactions in all types of settings and classrooms. As a co-administrator of Virginia’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) with the Virginia Department of Social Services over many years, one of VECF’s responsibilities has been quality assurance of Virginia’s QRIS CLASS observations that are equivalent to those conducted for AEII, requiring coordination across VECF and CASTL to minimize burden on teachers.
Virginia School Divisions
In partnership with VDOE, CASTL is working with early childhood education leaders across 122 school divisions with VPI classrooms in 2019-20. This work began in Spring 2019 with 50 Early Adopter divisions who piloted the AEII initiative components (observations, feedback, trainings) and offered feedback to improve supports during scale-up across the Commonwealth.