The amount of "paperwork" we must manage seems to grow yearly. Many people find this daunting, and within a few weeks their organization crashes, piles are everywhere, things can't be found, and the words "documentation," "memo," and "handout" become cause for anxiety. Don't let this happen to you!

Each center may have already made certain paperwork requirements uniform throughout the center, for example, the process for keeping attendance, or a file with contact information that goes outside during a fire drill, among others. But there will be things for which only YOU are responsible. It is in your own best interest to develop an organization system. If you are not sure where to begin, consider the following.

Assessment Files

Please also see: Paterson PreK Assessment

How will you collect evidence of a child's behavior to use in assessment?

At the begining of the year, set up a method for collecting anecdotes as you go through these first weeks. You will need:
  • A print out of the allowed On-the-Spots.
  • A method for collecting anecdotes:
    • a clip board with anecdote forms, and something to keep the pages safe before you enter them online
    • stickies, and something to keep them safe before you enter them online
    • a notebook

Preparing for a Smooth First Six Weeks

After a year or two, you will recognize what is sensible to print and make copies of ahead of time. But even now there are some basic strategies to help keep your sanity, and not waste paper or clog up your files.

Files about Individual Children
Most teachers have a second set of individual files they keep in a file cabinet. Here they keep family information, other pieces of child's work they are keeping for an end of the year book for parents, accident reports, and the CATSS file, if applicable.

Fours teacher can place the transition folders here after they have reviewed them, and the IPT test, given in the spring. Threes teachers can store the ESI-Screens, once the results are interpreted for Fall assesment.

Again, if you maintain these files, it will be easy to pull together the things you need for the end of the year transition folders.

Files about the Class
Have at least one file that has a small number of blank class lists. These become invaluable when you are trying to keep track of permission slips, book bags lent for a weekend, fundraisers, pictures, etc.

Prepare another labeled ESI Screen. Keep clean and clear templates of the ESI-P, the IDT-P (Spanish version of the ESI-R), the ESI-K here. Threes teachers can make 15/16 copies of the ESI-P and the IDT-P to have them ready for administration in October. Fours teachers should have about 6 each of all three screens - Fours teachers must screen any child new to preschool, whenever they enroll, even if in June.

Keep the ESI Score Class Form (that lists all children administered the screen) in this file. You will use this list again for children who need rescreening, and you will have it in case it gets lost in the shuffle elsewhere.

Fours teachers will need a place to put their WIDA test forms (English test given in the spring), so that is another file for them. Have a place ready to keep these things before the end of the year scramble.

Files about the Center and Paterson Public Schools
Keep files for: memos from your director, your materials inventories and materials orders, your wish lists, fundraisers, field trips; a place for your center's Policy & Procedures Manual, Teacher's Manual, etc. Set up a file to keep communications from Paterson Public Schools and the Master Teachers.