What Is School Readiness?
The Office of Head Start (OHS) defines school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and for later learning and life.
School Readiness Plan
Every Head Start program is required by the Performance Standards to develop and implement a School Readiness Plan. The School Readiness Plan for Fayette County was created several years ago with input from parents, community, governing boards, kindergarten teachers, and Head Start staff. It is reviewed during self-assessment and after the final data is drawn for the school year and revised as needed.
The plan includes skills in these areas:
- Approaches to Learning
- Language and Literacy
- Social Emotional Development
- Cognition (math, science, logic)
- Perceptual Motor Development
Data is aggregated and analyzed four times a year (October, January, March, and May). Teachers use this data to guide teaching and make mid-course corrections as needed.
Data is shared with Policy Council and the School Board. Individual data is shared with parents at conferences and home visits and individual goals for children are developed.
A Curriculum Committee meets to discuss school readiness expectations, new information from the national office, and if the current curriculum is meeting our program’s needs. The committee reviews other curriculums and instructional approaches in order to ensure that our children’s needs are being met.
The Policy Council participates in the development of school readiness goals and helps to assess the program’s progress in achieving those goals. The Policy Council also promotes the critical role that parents play in supporting their children’s progress towards school readiness.
Steps to School Readiness
- Understand the purpose and importance of establishing and revising school readiness goals in the context of the Head Start planning process.
- Participate in the establishment and revision of school readiness goals through their involvement in the self-assessment process.
Planning and Implementation
- Review regular progress reports submitted by Head Start staff that pertain to the implementation of school readiness goals and makes recommendations as needed.
- Provide input into the curriculum to ensure that it aligns with school readiness goals.
- Promote the involvement of parents in supporting school readiness goals.
Assessing and Aggregating
- Ensure that program data on individual children can be used to facilitate a parent-teacher partnership in establishing and achieving individual .goals for children.
- Participate in the self-assessment process by reviewing year-long data to determine school readiness trends and assess overall progress in achieving school readiness goals.
Ensure that the role of parents in supporting school readiness goals is a priority of the program.