PPS Head Start-About Us
PPS PreK is a comprehensive educational program which focuses on the whole child. We believe that you, the caregiver, are your child’s first and most significant teacher. So we want to work with you throughout the year to help your child learn and grow. We plan developmentally appropriate curriculum in the area of literacy, language, math, science, creative arts, self-help skills, and most importantly, social-emotional skills (how to get along with others). Teachers will meet with you at least four times during the year for home visits and conferences. Our goal is overall social competence. This means being ready for school and life academically, physically and emotionally. This is a very exciting time in your child’s growth and development and we will do everything we can to help them succeed and be happy.
Dual Language Learner Services (DLL)
PPS PreK is committed to meeting the needs of every family, including those who speak languages other than English. Families are supported by experienced Spanish DLI Teachers and DLL Assistant Teachers who work with children in classrooms, on home visits, and during family events, and by Family Service Workers/Community Agents (FSW/CA) who speak Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Every PPS PreK family will be connected with a FSW/CA at their child’s site. Your FSW/CA is a wonderful resource for you as a caregiver. Your FSW will meet with you two times during the school year for home visits. These home visits are opportunities to share helpful parenting information and provide an opportunity to create a Family Partnership that highlights strengths and goals for your family. They can assist with accessing resources in the community, problem solve and meet immediate needs for basic services, and help you learn more about your rights and roles as a parent in our PPS PreK program.
We know all children learn best when they are healthy. PPS PreK partners with families to ensure all children are able to learn and grow throughout their school year. We support families to access health insurance as needed, identify a medical and dental home, as well as complete several health screenings so that children receive any needed care. Some examples include vision and hearing screenings, developmental screenings, as well as growth screenings. We partner with other providers to provide dental screening and fluoride varnish for children. Our program also has registered nurses who are happy to talk with families about any health concerns they may have for their child.
Social Emotional Support Services
The social and emotional areas of a child’s development is the key to a child’s success in preschool and eventually kindergarten. To ensure we are able to support all children’s social-emotional health, a Mental Health Consultant or PreK Student Support Coordinator is assigned to each classroom and visits that classroom multiple times each month. The Mental Health Consultant acts as a resource for teachers, children, and caregivers. With regular visits to the classroom, the Consultant/Coordinator helps teachers develop strategies for addressing the social and emotional needs of children in the classroom. The Consultant/Coordinator is available for caregivers to answer questions about child development or concerns about their children. Parenting classes may also be provided. The Consultant/Coordinator can also assist caregivers in accessing mental health services in the community.
During enrollment, all families complete a nutrition screening in order to identify any allergies or food substitutions that are needed. Children are provided with two meals and one snack during their school day and our menu accommodates all food allergies and special dietary needs. Our program also partners with a Registered Dietician to support families with any concerns or questions related to nutrition for their child.
Student Support Services
PPS PreK is an inclusive environment for children who experience disabilities. Working together, teachers, support specialists and caregivers facilitate and maximize the child’s full participation in classroom experiences and interactions. Although many children come into our program with identified disabilities, we screen all children for developmental, sensory, and behavioral concerns. The screening process identifies children who may need assessments that are more formal in order to receive the benefit of specialized interventions. You will be informed of all screening results and will be advised of options for additional screening assessments. We partner with Multnomah Early Childhood Program (MECP) to provide support for children who are eligible for special education services. If you have any concerns about your child’s development services, or want community referrals, contact your FSW/CA for more information.