KPBSD receives Head Start School District Collaboration Award

Nearly every community in Alaska has a head start program; KPBSD is proud to receive the Head Start Award for Collaboration with the Kenaitze Early Childhood Center (ECC) Head Start program.

Teresa Smith, Kenaitze Childhood Manager, and Robin Evans, KPBSD, receive the Head Start Award for Collaboration on behalf of the KPBSD.

Teresa Smith, Kenaitze Childhood Manager, and Robin Evans, KPBSD, receive the Head Start Award for Collaboration on behalf of the KPBSD.

“We value our relationship with Kenaitze Head Start and feel that we are fortunate to have their outstanding staff working with our future students,” said Clayton Holland, director of pupil services. “The good work of the Kenaitze Head Start staff with our students and families has made a significant difference in how we perform as a school district and how our students do on an individual level. The collaboration between Kenaitze Head Start and the school district is truly about mutual welfare and benefit for the students and families on the Kenai and is part of what makes this district and community special.”

For seventeen years the Kenaitze Early Childhood Center (ECC) – Head Start has had a strong relationship with KPBSD Pupil Services, Child Find, administrators, and kindergarten & Pre-K staff.

The Child Find Coordinator works with our program to ensure all developmental screenings are completed and reviewed prior to the 45 day deadline required by Head Start,” said Teresa Smith. “This collaboration allows students with possible developmental delays to be observed and referrals made as early as possible in the school year. Through each school year KPBSD will include ECC staff in their trainings and events. Over the years our relationship has grown to be positive and flexible. Concerns regarding a certified special needs child are resolved timely with a phone call, emails or face to face meeting between ECC staff, KPBSD staff and parents. Our strong Memorandum of Agreement clearly defines roles and responsibilities and provides the framework for our collaborative process to provide the best possible services for children and families.

Each year, for the last fifteen years, ECC has hosted a “Transition Night Dinner” for all of our graduating preschoolers, their families and KPBSD kindergarten staff and principals. On Transition Night, teachers and principals from the LEA kindergartens join us and our families for a dinner to meet and provide information about the schools in which their children will be enrolled. This is a very well attended activity, and is a good opportunity for families to begin developing a relationship with their new school. The goal is to allow for smooth transition of children and families from Head Start into kindergarten. In addition kindergarten teachers have scheduled transition meetings with our Education Coordinator to discuss specific needs and possible placement suggestions prior to students moving on. Some teachers have even come over to observe students in their preschool classroom in the late spring.

The KPBSD continually, year after year, works collaboratively with us to ensure that together we provide quality preschool services in our community. We are privileged to work together with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District to serve children and families in this community.”

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