How to Use the Administrator COT

The Administrator’s Classroom Observation Tool (A-COT) is an abridged version of the Classroom Observation Tool (COT).  The A-COT is a 43-item checklist of teacher behaviors that have been linked across multiple studies with gains in language and literacy, social skills, and early math and science.  A-COT reports display the date a specific behavior was first observed in the classroom. The data collected and built-in goal setting system can then guide  teachers, coaches, program managers, and school leaders to track progress and plan for continuous improvement and  professional development in areas of greatest need. Training on utilizing the A-COT can be found in the eCIRCLE Leading School-wide Improvement online course in the eCIRCLE Professional Development Series.


  • Teacher account must be created




  1. To access the A-COT folder locate the green banner Quality and Innovation on the dashboard.

  2. Click on the Administrative COT.

  3. On the Administrative COT >Teachers page, select one or more of the search criteria and click the Search button.

  4. Click the check box next to Search in Existing A-COT to look for a teacher with an existing A-COT, or leave empty to search for all.

  5. Click the Play icon to access the Teacher.

  6. School leaders should complete the A-COT at the beginning of the year and update it during subsequent classroom observations.  To enter the beginning of the year (BOY) A-COT Assessment or the middle of the year (MOY) A-COT Assessment scores into CLI Engage, first click the Perform Assessment button.

  7. Enter the Wave (BOY or MOY), Date of Visit and Length of Visit (hours).

    1. Note: fields with a *Red Asterisk are required

  8. Click Show Full Text to show the full item text or Show Short Text to switch back to the abbreviated text.

    1. On the Short Text view the full item text can also be viewed by hovering over the item box.

  9. Click the box under the Obs (Observed) column for each item observed during the initial visit.  Click the check box under the NS (Needs Support) column next to any items with an Obs check to identify items that need support.

  10. Click Save when done entering all observed items.  Selecting Save will enable you to return to the A-COT Assessment and make changes, if necessary.

  11. Collapse domains to view more behavior indicators in a domain category.

  12. Once saved and completely finished with the A-COT Assessment, click Finalize to continue.

  13. You can now access the full A-COT report to view.

  14. Click on the COT PDF report to view.

    1. Note:  If you reset and delete the A-COT, it will no longer be accessible.

  15. Once an A-COT Assessment is finalized, the Select Goals/Update COT page will be active.

    1. Use the Select Goals/Update COT to select short term goals and update items observed during a visit.

      The Short Term Goals Report is generated from the Select Goals/Update COT page. From this report, the administrator determines the instructional focus for each teacher. This instructional focus informs what goals the teacher will work toward completing. The reflective follow up sessions between a teacher and administrator allow flexibility while ensuring that the focus stays on practices and instruction closely linked with learning goals. In the Action Plan section, discuss the teacher’s plan for obtaining the set goals.

      Click on the play icon button under action to view existing COT. You can also click the search option Search in Existing COT to view all teachers with completed COTs.

  16. Select goals from either observed (to improve behavior) or unobserved (to develop behavior) by clicking the check box to the left of the A-COT items under the Select as Goal.

    Level 1 (purple) are basic supports for instructional change, Level 2 (blue) represent increasingly advanced instructional strategies, Level 3 (green) priorities centering on highly differentiated instruction.

  17. Once the teacher and the administrator are done selecting goals, click on the Create New Short Term Goal Report button at the end of the page.

  18. Select the Goal Set Data from the calendar drop down and the Length of Visit (hours).  Red Asterisk * indicates these are required fields.

  19. You can change the order of the goals by clicking on the green arrow to the left to move items up.

  20. You can create a grouped goal to customize redundant tasks in the action plan. Each set of grouped goals will have its own corresponding on my own and with support action plan. This allows organization of A-COT items across domains to make then more actionable for observation.

  21. Click on the + next to create grouped goal. Drag items from your selected goals into the box.

  22. Click create group. Your grouped goal will be saved. Add action items in text box and click create Short Term Goal (STG) Report:

    Under Action Plan:

    • My Own box – the administrator should input what the teacher will do on their own to accomplish the goals

    • With Support box – the administrator will list how they will assist the teacher in achieving more difficult goals. They will list the mentoring strategy they will use to best help the teacher accomplish the goal.

    • Additional Comments box – provides an area where the administrator can write any other constructive comments that will help support the teacher. This section can also be used to acknowledge goals that the teacher achieved or set goals based on the CEC.

    The editing options at the top of each text box allow the user to Bold (B), Italicize (I), Underline (U), Indent, Number, or Bullet the text. This formatting transfers to the PDF reports.

  23. Click Save to save the Goal Set Date, Length of Visit and Action Plan.  Once entered, you can click Generate Teacher STG Report. Click on the Generate Teacher STG Report and the Generate Coach STG Report buttons to view the STG Report information in a PDF.

  24. The Teacher Short Term Goal Report PDF should be provided to the teacher at the end of each coaching session. It lists the selected Goals first, then the Action Plan with formatting, and finally a Reference table. The Reference table is linked to the selected Goal items by a unique ID which is shown in light grey at the end of each item. The table lists the associated CIRCLE Manual, Prekindergarten Guideline sections, and Resource video links.

    1. Coach Short Term Goal Report PDF lists the selected Goals first, then the Action Plan with formatting, and finally a Reference table. The Reference table is linked to the selected Goal items by a unique ID which is shown in light grey at the end of each item. The table lists the associated CIRCLE activity,  GuidePrekindergarten Guideline sections, and Resource video

  25. The Teacher and Coach STGR PDFs can also be downloaded from the Teacher Folder through the links.

  26. A new Short Term Goals Report (STG Report) is generated at the conclusion of each coaching visit. Each subsequent coaching visit provides an opportunity to assess progress in the areas listed in the STG Report. Unmet goals are retained while goals that have been achieved are replaced with new areas of need selected from the Select Goals/Update COT page. During these reflective follow up sessions, teachers and coach will collaborate in establishing future goals.  At the end of each coaching session, before a new STG Report is created:

    • Click on the Select Goals/Update COT button in the Teacher folder

    • Click Show Active Goals Only

      • Only items with a Goal Set Date but no Met Date and items with the NS (Need Support) check box clicked will be displayed

  27. In the Goal Met Date column use the date picker to select the Met Date for any items observed during the coaching session.

    1. Click the Save Changes button at the end of the page once all Goal Met Dates are entered.  When COT items have an Observation date (COT Assessment date, COT Update date, or Met Date) on the Select Goals/Update COT page the item will be highlighted light blue.

  28. COT Updates are any items observed during a visit that were not observed during the BOY or MOY COT Assessment and was not part of a Short Term Goal Report.

    • Click on the Select Goals/Update COT button in the Teacher Folder

    In the COT Updates column, use the date picker to select the observation

    1. NOTE: If an item already has a date in the BOY Obs, MOY Obs, or STGR Goal Met Date column, then do not add a date to the COT Updates column. Also, only enter the first observation date for a COT Update. Do not update this column every time an item is observed.

  29. Once the user is finished entering COT Update dates and selected the check box for any items that need support in the NS column, click the Save Changes button at the end of the page to save the the selections.

  30. Ensure you have saved all changes and entered the length of the goal setting visit. This will then allow you to generate the report.

  31. The COT PDF Report creates a printable document that exactly matches the Select Goals/Update COT page. The report can be downloaded from the Teacher PDFs Reports Folder.

If you need any further assistance, please submit a help ticket.