School Readiness Plan

 

Program Mission Statement

Douglas Cherokee Head Start/Early Head Start program will provide children and their families with high quality learning environments, services and experiences that support school success and lifelong learning.

 

School Readiness

School readiness simply means that children have the age appropriate skills and knowledge in all developmental domains that indicate they are "ready to learn" when they enter Kindergarten. The earliest years of a child's life are a time of rapid growth and development that establish a foundation for future school success. It is important for the program and families to work together to provide experiences that support each child's development across the five learning domains of language & literacy, cognition and general knowledge, approaches toward learning, physical well-being and motor development, and social & emotional development. Children demonstrate school readiness when they are able to communicate and engage in play with others, follow simple rules, participate in group activities, take care of their personal needs, label and control their emotions, demonstrate small and large motor skills, possess a positive self-image, demonstrate problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills, and show enthusiasm and curiosity for learning. To ensure that the children enrolled in Douglas-Cherokee Head Start/Early Start enter Kindergarten ready to learn the program has developed specific school readiness goals across these five domains. These goals align with the Tennessee Start Early Learning Standards and the Head Start Child Development Early Learning Framework. Throughout the school year we will monitor the children's progress towards the achievement of these goals and report these results to families. The program will also provide families with available resources that support these school readiness goals. As we partner together toward this shared goal, we can be sure that every child enrolled in Douglas-Cherokee Head Start/Early Head Start will enter Kindergarten "ready to learn."

 

Head Start Program School Readiness Goals for All Children


Language & literacy
Children will use and comprehend increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.
Children will use and comprehend oral language for conversation and communication.
Children can identify and discriminate the sounds within words, as separate from the word
itself.
Children will use and understand print as a meaningful and organized symbolic system of
communication.
Children and families will participate in Dolly's Imagination Library monthly book program.
English language Development
Dual Language Learners will increase their ability to follow directions in English.
Dual Language learners will participate in English literacy activities with the interpreters.
Dual Language learners will begin using the English language to communicate.


Cognition and General Knowledge
Children will use math regularly and in every day routines to count! compare, relate, identify
patterns and problem solve.
Children will use observation, manipulation, asking questions, making predictions, and
developing hypotheses to gain a better understanding of information and activities in their
surroundings.
Children will increase their skills in remembering information and in being aware of their own
thinking.
Children will recognize that living things are made up of parts.
Children will begin to understand cause and affect relationships.


Approaches to learning
Children will show an interest in varied topics and activities, an eagerness to learn, creativity,
and independence in their interactions with activities and materials.
Children will demonstrate persistence and sustained attention when working with materials
activities and information.
Children will display interest and engagement in group experiences.


Physical Well-being and Motor Development
Children will demonstrate control of large muscles for movement, navigation and balance.
Children will control small muscles for such purposes as using utensils, self-care, building, writing, and manipulation
Children will identify and practice healthy and safe habits.


Social Emotional Development
Children will engage in positive adult-child relationships and interactions.
Children will engage in positive peer relationships and iriteractions.
Children will display levels of attention, emotion, and behavior in the classroom that are
appropriate to the situation and the supports available.
Children will learn and internalize (follow) classroom rules, routines, and directions.


Strategies to Support School Readiness Goals


Maintain organized stimulating classroom learning environments that reflect the Creative Curriculum framework and ECERS standards.

Review LAP-D groupings report to plan monthly learning objectives that support school readiness goals and indiVidual/group learning outcomes. (see monthly planning page in lesson plan book)

Plan intentional activities and experiences that support school readiness goals and connect activities to the HeatJ Start Early Learning Child Development Framework. (see week lesson plans)
Actively engage children in meaningful experiences using research based teaching strategies that support sustained child outcomes.

Incorporate DLL activities/materials into the weekly lesson plans to support the home language and acquisition of second language.

Schedule bi-lingual aids to make regular visits to classrooms with Dllstudents to support goals for DLL.


Families will participate in the Book Bag program.


Incorporate CSEFEL materials/activities/experiences to promote social emotional goals.

Incorporate individual fitness goals into the weekly lesson plans.


Incorporate Creative Curriculum "Get Fit! Kit" and Exercise Study Starter into curriculum planning.

Monitor and analyze assessment data.


Assess the quality of adult child interactions and develop professional goals. (CLASS)

Identify individual support and intervention strategies to maximize each child's progress towards the achievement of school readiness goals. (see Child Assessment System)
Provide professional development opportunities/resources that support school readiness goals.

Provide families with at-home activities that support school readiness goals. (Ex. Power Page, Helping Your Child Grow; A Parent Guide to Understanding theTennessee Early Learning Standards, LAP-D Home Activities and other resources)

Enroll families in the Imagination Library program to promote family and early Iiteracy.


Assist families in making the transition to Kindergarten. (see Transition Plan)


Maintain partnerships and communication with local education agencies.

 

Early Head Start
The foundation of school readiness for infants and toddlers is rooted in the development of secure trusting relationships with caregivers who support their development in all areas but especially in their social emotional development. The National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families identify seven social emotional characteristics that are essential for school-readiness; confidence, curiosity, intentionality, self-control, relatedness, capacity to communicate, and cooperativeness. These critical characteristics establish a foundation for school readiness which is forming during these early years.  The research makes a clear connection between the development of social emotional skills and the development of emerging literacy and numeracy skills. These school readiness skills develop with the support of nurturing caregivers through daily routines and planned experiences.
The continuity of care is critical in developing secure attachments which in turn supports the overall development of the child. Therefore primary caregivers are assigned to care for no more than four children and their families. The number of transitions is also limited since this can be detrimental to sustaining secure attachments. The continuity of care also encompasses establishing a trusting relationship between the caregiver and the family so that the existing patterns and routines of care can be continued in Early Head Start. Furthermore, it is important for the caregiver to understand the family’s culture and values so that the care of each child can be individualized around the family’s core beliefs.
The program uses the Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers which is founded upon the most current child development research and includes learning objectives in the five domains of the Head Start Child Development Early Learning Framework. The Creative Curriculum framework emphasizes that early learning occurs within the context of trusting relationships and through daily practices of routine care. The goals and objectives for children’s learning that are outlined in the curriculum are identified as skills and behaviors that support school success. Therefore, the programs school readiness goals are reflective of these learning objectives and these goals align with the domains of the Head Start Child Development Early Learning Framework and the Tennessee State Early Learning Standards.
In conjunction with the Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers, the program also uses Partners for Healthy Babies. This Curriculum is initially used to support the family through pregnancy, delivery and then once in center care the teachers use the curriculum to support their planning with families as they partner together to support the child’s development and progress through each developmental milestone.


Alignment of School Readiness Goals
Douglas Cherokee’s school readiness goals address the five essential domains from the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework and are aligned with the Tennessee State Early Learning Standards (TNELDS), and local standards within the counties that the program serves. (See Tabs) Furthermore, the goals are also aligned with the programs Curriculum and assessment tool. (See Tabs Creative Curriculum & E-LAP, LAP-D 3rd Edition)
Program school readiness goals will be measured on all children enrolled in the program. The goals will be measured by the Learning Accomplishment Profile Diagnostic-3rd Edition/E-LAP, observations, LAP-D DLL Observation checklist, LAP-D literacy checklist, portfolio entries, BMI reports, and CLASS Observations (HS Only). Teachers will measure a child’s progress three times per year; August/January/April. (EHS August/January/June)  (See Assessment Data System) Data is entered into the Red-e-Learner web-based data system which generates both center level and program level reports. The data will be used to determine needs and progress of each group of children and individual children. This information will be utilized in the Community Assessment and for developing program goals as well training plans.


Early Head Start Program School Readiness Goals
Language & Literacy
Children will listen to and develop an understanding of increasingly complex language.
Children will use language and progress in their ability to express feelings, needs, thoughts, and ideas while learning appropriate conversational/communication skills.
Children will develop sound awareness, demonstrate an interest in books, and develop emergent writing skills.
Children and families will participate in Dolly’s Imagination Library monthly book program
Cognition and General Knowledge
Children will develop the ability to remember, connect experiences, and solve problems.
Children will use their five senses to observe, investigate, manipulate objects, and explore their environment to learn mathematical concepts and make discoveries about their physical and natural world.
Children will develop a broad awareness of self in relationship to others and their environment within the context of daily routines and experiences.
Approaches to Learning
Children will demonstrate interest, curiosity, motivation, creativity, and preferences when interacting with a variety of materials and activities.
Children will demonstrate persistence and sustained attention when using materials and activities.
Children will demonstrate awareness, interest, and engagement with others.
Physical Well-being and Motor Development
Children will develop gross motor skills and progress in their ability to move their bodies, coordinate movements, balance, and perform gross motor manipulative skills.
Children will develop and progress in fine-motor skills.
Children will participate in routine health care practices and develop the ability to practice them independently. (Hand-washing, bathing, dental care, using a tissue, dressing/feeding self)


Social Emotional Development
Children will develop self-regulation and grow in their ability to express their emotions.
Children will develop and sustain positive relationships.
Children will develop awareness of self, others and grow in their ability to participate cooperatively in groups.
Although, school readiness goals are not required for pregnant moms it is dually noted that the health and well being of the mother directly effects the development of the baby and impacts the child’s school readiness. Therefore, to support the overall health and well being of the mother and child, the program takes an active role in supporting the health/health education of the mother throughout the pregnancy. The Partners for a Healthy Baby curriculum provides the health education knowledge and guidance needed to support the health and well being of the mother thus resulting in a healthy baby.
Strategies to Support School Readiness Goals

  • Maintain continuity of care by assigning primary caregivers and limiting transitions within the program.
  • Develop relationships with families to identify each child’s temperament, biological patterns, and culture to develop individual care plans for the child.
  • Incorporate the family’s cultural values, customs, traditions into daily care routines and experiences.
  • Incorporate child’s home language into daily care routines and experiences.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with families to support the child’s growth and developmental progress.
  • Provide families with at-home activities that support school readiness goals. (Ex. Partners for Healthy Babies Handouts, Learning Games, Helping Your Child Grow; A Parent Guide to Understanding the Tennessee Early Learning Standards, E-LAP Home Activities, Getting Ready for School Begins at Birth, and other resources)
  • Provide families with copies of the Tennessee School Readiness Model.
  • Provide families with information on Kidcentral.tn and encourage them to sign the school readiness pledge.
  • Provide families with links to school readiness resources on the agency’s web-page.
  • Enroll families in the Imagination Library program to promote family and early literacy.
  • Conduct a family engagement /school readiness survey to identify/support family goals. (See School Readiness Survey)
  • Maintain organized stimulating classroom learning environments that reflect the Creative Curriculum for Infants & Toddles and ITERS/ ECERS standards.
  • Review and analyze assessment data to plan for each child’s individual needs. (weekly child observations, E-LAP results, and family goals for child’s learning)
  • Identify individual support and intervention strategies to maximize each child’s progress towards the achievement of developmental milestones that support school readiness goals.
  • Develop individual and group plans based upon goals for children’s learning, individual interests, and development.
  • Provide age appropriate materials/equipment/experiences that reflect the age and stage of each child’s individual development.
  • Utilize daily routines and planned experiences to support learning across all developmental domains.
  • Establish consistent routines based on individual needs.
  • Utilizes CSEFEL Infant/Toddler strategies and experiences to promote Social/Emotional Competence.
  • Respond appropriately to child’s verbal and non-verbal cues to meet their individual emotional, physical, and intellectual needs.
  • Use language (“parentese”, self-talk, labeling, repetition/extension, questioning, and advanced language) during daily routines and experiences.
  • Assist families and children in making smooth transitions into/within/out of the program. (see Transition Plan)
  • Provide families with end of the year Child Health Summary.
  • Provide professional development opportunities/resources that support school readiness goals.