Adopt these strategies for a smoother, more productive ASQ process
Heading back to school? This may mean you’re diving back into ASQ® screenings along with your other new-school-year to-dos.
While important, fall screenings do come at a time that can be overwhelming for both parents and professionals. Ease back in with six simple strategies that will make the ASQ process easier for everyone.
1. Consider getting a later start.
Eager to learn more about their students and cross a big item off their lists, lots of teachers jump into fall screenings right away. Remember that questionnaires can easily be forgotten among the excitement of the new school year—and lost in all the paperwork that comes with it.
Some programs have found that waiting three weeks to send home questionnaires results in much higher completion rates. Another bonus: It gives you more time to effectively introduce ASQ to parents and caregivers (see tip #2!).
2. Introduce questionnaires clearly.
Not everyone is familiar with ASQ and developmental screening. Take time to clearly convey the importance of both and specifically how the questionnaires work, what data is collected, and how that data is used.
If possible, begin communicating before you share the questionnaires and even consider hosting and information night where you can share information and answer questions in-person. Here are some resources to get you started:
Parents’ Guide to ASQ Screening The basics of ASQ screening in a Q&A style, featuring links to activity handouts and other resources. Great for first-time families, also available in Spanish.
ASQ Parent Resources Comprehensive collection of send-home and other materials, including a welcome letter, consent form, and What is ASQ®-3? and What is ASQ®:SE-2? tip sheets. Requires free registration to ASQ website.
It’s a busy time of year. Be sure to remind parents of when they need to return completed questionnaires. If you haven’t already grabbed some handy reminder post-it notes from an ASQ/Brookes Publishing booth this year, print and cut out your own then attach to each questionnaire. It’s also worth giving a little nudge with an email or text.
4. Tell parents when they can expect results.
Parents are always interested in their child’s development, so share results in a timely fashion. And however you plan to share those results—whether it’s during a parent–teacher conference or during back-to-school night—let families know what to expect, and when. Here are a few resources to help you prepare:
You’ll save time and stress later by deciding in advance how you plan to track each child’s results over time. One simple way is to use a child monitoring sheet, which lets you track whether scores are above or below the cutoff or in the monitoring zone for each developmental area. Sheets are available in several languages for both ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2.
Another way to quickly and easily track children’s results over time is with the reporting functions available in ASQ Online. ASQ Online provides users with more than 15 different reports that they can use to export and analyze data from their program. You can find more information about all of the reports available in ASQ Online in our ASQ Online Reports Guide.
6. Stay positive.
Sure, beginning-of-the-year screening can up your stress levels, but it’s important to remember that the information you gain by screening with ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2 is a major contributor to the success and well-being of the children in your program. Be positive, flexible, and organized and you’re sure to have a successful year.
What back-to-school screening strategies keep you sane and organized?
Share your tips with us here. We’d love to hear from you!
Originally published: August 2019
Updated: August 2022
What ASQ Users are Saying
“We chose ASQ because it is easy to do, low cost, culturally sensitive, and it meets our purpose of basic screening for our children’s development. Our infant teachers base their curriculum on each individual child based on the ASQ.”
Kathy Bostic, Program Supervisor, Pinehurst Child Care Center