The Head Start and Early Head Start program has begun the 2021-2022 school year on a positive note. Students, families, and employees are grateful for In-Person instruction and are hopeful to continue in this manner. Parents and teachers, as a community, are working together to support their children emotionally and academically. Researched based curriculums such as Frog Street Press, Second Steps, and Conscious Discipline are making a difference as we engage children during the Global Pandemic to manage the new norm. Safety procedures have been established according to CDC guidelines and carried out in all of our Head Start locations to include masks requirements when counties are at the red or orange level in accordance to reported COVID cases.
Based on reflective surveys and open communication, Head Start and Early Head Start administration has implemented strategies that not only benefit the families and their children but also supports the employees. One big change for this school year is the addition of a third teacher in each classroom in our region. This is not only another way to ensure the safety of children throughout the day but also allows for more one on one academic time. The Springfield and Lebanon Head Start centers began their school year in new facilities. Both facilities are a modern take on the Head Start center and offer plenty of space and opportunities for learning. We appreciate the community and parents for their patience, feedback, and suggestions as the arrival and departure procedures were planned and executed in a timely method. Transportation is now being offered at several of our locations as new buses are begin dispersed across our service area. The new buses provide a safe and accommodating environment to transport children to and from school. Parents have the opportunity to take part in Parent University. Parent University is a community collaborative that supports parents as full partners in their children’s education. The program offers free courses, family events, and activities to foster new/additional skills, knowledge, resources and confidence. The goal of Parent University is to raise children who are successful in school and in life. As September begins, students are learning about their senses, feelings, and families. Learning more about ourselves, our community, and the world around us leads to children who are more compassionate and resilient.