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Head Start

Head Start

Programs of Excellence


To be eligible for Head Start services, a child must be at least age 3 to 4 years old by September 1st of the year entering for public school or turning age 5 after September 1st of the year entering for public school, except in cases where the Head Start program's approved grant provides specific authority to serve younger children. Examples of such exceptions are programs serving children of migrant families and Early Head Start programs.

Head Start is a federally funded, comprehensive, child development program that encompasses all aspects of a child's development and learning. Upon entry into the program each eligible child ages 3 to 4 years old by September 1st of the year entering for public school or turning age 5 after September 1st of the year entering for public school in the community in which the Head Start program is located will receive required screenings to determine their overall health status, developmental strengths, needs and areas of concern such as the possibility of a serious delay or disability. Using appropriate observation assessment procedures, staff and parents follow each child's progress. Through this process, they come to know the child's strengths, interests, needs and learning styles which allow for individualized curriculum experiences that support learning and development.

Head Start core curriculum resources include DLM Express, Teaching Strategies Gold, Waterford, and Peacemaking Skills for Little Kids. The following resources may also be used as supplementary resources to enhance the overall educational experiences for young children: Sid the Science Kid, Growing Up WILD, Big Math for Little Kids, Comprehensive Literacy Resource and DLM Transition to Kindergarten.

Program information is gathered to document the process for assuring positive child outcomes. At the beginning of the school year, Head Start administers the Brigance Developmental to all of our students. Mid-year re-screenings are scheduled if needed. Head Start utilizes Teaching Gold Strategies (TSG) as a developmental tool used to document and evaluate child outcomes. Teaching Strategies GOLD is a computer web-based application for managing early childhood education outcomes throughout the school year. Our four-year olds' academic growth is measured three times per year. The tool used is the Florida Voluntary Pre-K Assessment. This assessment includes progress monitoring measures in the areas of Print Knowledge, Phonological Awareness, Mathematics, and Oral Language/Vocabulary that are aligned with the Standards for Four-Year-Olds.

Head Start recognizes parents as their child's first teachers and literacy as a program priority. We value diversity and strive for high quality in our program and are recognized nationally as a *Program of Excellence*.

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