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Mental Health Observations


NOCAC Head Start will improve classroom management and teacher practices through strategies that include using classroom observations to address teacher and child needs and creating physical environments that promote positive mental health and social-emotional functioning


  1. The Disability Services Specialist (DSC) will observe all NOCAC Head Start classrooms twice during the program year, fall and spring, and will complete a checklist and evaluation of the environment and interactions between staff and between staff and children.
  2. The DSC will provide onsite observation to promote mental health wellness, classroom dynamics, effective adult-child and adult-adult interactions, positive behavior support and Conscious Discipline.
  3. Child observations are recorded on the Classroom Observation Form.
  4. Mental health observations will be identified as one of two types:
    1. Classroom Concerns
      1. If concerns are identified with the classroom observation, the DSC will schedule a meeting with the classroom teaching staff and their center manager to develop a plan to address concerns
      2. After the plan is implemented the DSC will observe the classroom in the spring to determine and support progress
    2. Individual Child Concerns
      1. Concerns regarding individual child observations will be addressed with teaching staff and will start the Referral Process.
  5. The DSC is responsible for maintaining all classroom observations and documentation

Forms and Additional Guidance:

Mental Health Classroom Observation Form

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1302.45; 1302.42
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    


Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   6/9/22
Approved By Policy Council:     Revision Approved By Policy Council:    
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