What We Know So Far

In Spring of 2019, AEII completed observations in 544 Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) classrooms across 50 participating divisions in Virginia. Observers measured the quality of teacher-child interactions using a standardized, research-based observation protocol.

A group of preschoolers doing whole group exercises with their teacher.

What the Data Show

Key Strengths

Initial observations indicated that the majority of observed classrooms provided strong emotional support and children’s time and attention were organized in a way that facilitated learning.

Room for Growth

The majority of Virginia’s VPI classrooms, approximately 71%, fell below the state’s threshold for strong instructionally supportive interactions promoting children’s thinking and problem-solving skills.

Comparing the Data

These findings, especially the lower scores in instructional support, are similar to what is seen at a national level in other state-funded preschools and Head Start programs.

A Focus On Professional Development

A focus on high-quality professional development makes a difference

The initial data captured in Virginia’s early childhood classrooms indicates a need for a broad and comprehensive strategy that improves interactions and instruction. This strategy includes a focus on teacher-child interactions, but also emphasizes the use of an evidence-based curriculum and data-driven professional development. AEII works with division and school leadership to make improvements in each of these areas – so that both teachers and children can get the most out of their time in the classroom.

AEII by the Numbers

See a snapshot of AEII’s work across the state of Virginia to measure quality and support improvements in VPI classrooms.

Hear the Stories

Hear how teachers and children have benefited from effective professional development and high-quality learning.

How we Support Quality ECE

Learn how AEII measures quality in the classroom and how it supports local leadership to make data-driven decisions about professional development supports.