Collaboration Office Corner August 2017

Many of you are familiar with the annual needs assessment required of Oregon Head Start PreKindergarten programs, you may not be aware that the Head Start Collaboration Office has a similar requirement. The assessment by the state’s Collaboration Office looks at the needs of programs statewide; especially as they connect to priority areas and current initiatives.

A copy of the 2017 Oregon Head Start Collaboration Office Needs Assessment is attached for your review. An important highlight of this assessment is the need for support to local programs around increasing the duration of classroom school days and school year. It is also notable that the survey given to OPK directors showed their priority for the Collaboration Office was continued support around Memorandums of Understanding (as required by the Head Start Act) with other publicly funded preschool programs in their area, as well as continued collaboration with Spark (Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System for early care and education programs as well as child care providers).

I hope you all enjoy the last month of summer and that things are going smoothly as programs ramp up enrollment to prepare for the 2017-18 school year.

Feel free to let me know if there are other things you would like to see in this corner.

Respectfully submitted by Shawna Rodrigues, LCSW
Oregon Head Start Collaborations Director

July Collaboration Office Corner

June has been a busy month in Oregon’s Collaboration Office. Summer Institute was a great success and we look forward to sharing more data in regards to our participants once that comes available. Staff at the Early Learning Division, including our Interim Early Learning Systems Director David Mandell, were able to join Oregon’s Head Start Directors for the final morning of their three-day June meeting. This was a valuable opportunity for the two groups to learn more about the priorities for the coming biennium and map out how the Association and Early Learning Division can work together. Multiple workgroups were established and are being organized. Information from their work together will be shared at future Director’s meetings.

Work on Spark (Oregon’s quality rating and improvement system for child care) continues to move along steadily. We have released the second draft of the new Tiers and Standards; they can be found on the Early Learning Division website under the page for the Spark Revision Ad Hoc Committee; June meeting materials “Spark Standards draft 6-9- 17” (

The Early Learning Division is excitedly awaiting our new Early Learning Systems Director, Miriam Calderon. Miriam is set to begin in mid-July and is scheduled to meet with regional staff from the Office of Head Start in early November. There are various vacancies at the Early Learning Division which we hope to fill once the hiring freeze is lifted.

Feel free to let me know if there are other things you would like to see in this corner.

Respectfully submitted by Shawna Rodrigues, LCSW
Oregon Head Start Collaborations Director

2016 Richard Alexander Scholarship Recipient Update

I graduate with Honors from SOU this Saturday (June 15, 2017). I will have earned my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Multiple Subjects as well as a teaching license. I hope to find an elementary teaching position in Southern Oregon and begin a fresh start with my little family. Thank you for the support OHSA has given me both financially for my own schooling as well as excellent preschool for myself as a youngster and my son Silas. My daughter will begin her Head Start journey this fall.
Thank you for your support,
Tara Beals

These Doors- A Poem

By: Shannon Lynn McGee
Mt. Hood Community College Head Start Parent

When we walked up to these doors one day,
To a building called Head Start.
I didn’t know what lied ahead, as our world was just torn apart,
At this time in our lives, we were in need of support, as I finally took a stand,
And as we walked through those doors, to my surprise,
we were welcomed with open hands,
The staff showed us love and kindness, as well as opened my eyes to see,
that there are wonderful, compassionate people who were willing to stick by me,
They believed in me through struggling times, and hugged me when I cried,
They laughed with me through good times, and recognized how hard I tried,
Most of all, I will never forget when the day is done,
All of the love, support, and encouragement that you have bestowed on my son,
As we walk out the door, I am grateful to say; we don’t feel alone anymore,
For I have found a family that I have grown to love, and people who I adore,
Even though we’ll shut the door behind us, you have a permanent place in our hearts,
That all started with going through the doors one day,
of a building called Head Start.

Thank you for all your support!

Shannon McGee

Collaboration Office Corner June 2017

It is hard to believe that summer is upon us and that our programs operating part year are winding down their work with children and families and celebrating the exciting gains that children and families have made over the past school year.

We are gearing up for the Summer Institute that will be happening in Albany at the end of the month. This learning opportunity was inspired by our partners at Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education that wanted to create a cross sector learning opportunity to bring together folks who work in Early Childhood for a training that was free to participants and had sessions that allowed a deeper dive on a topic and offered college/graduate credit for participants. We are very excited that the 3 sessions sponsored by the Early Learning Division (School Readiness from emotional intelligence to self-regulation, Toxic Stress and Trauma: Supporting children, families, and systems, and Practice-Based Coaching for Instructional leaders to improve practice and develop systems) are full with wait-lists. Registration closes on June 9th, but there were still a few openings if anyone is interested!

I have only had the opportunity to visit a couple of our programs, but each time I do I am heartened by the incredible work that is happening in the field. The impact made by Oregon Head Start PreKindergarten is evident in the lives we have touched. Congratulations on another year of success.

Feel free to let me know if there are other things you would like to see in this corner.

Respectfully submitted by Shawna Rodrigues, LCSW
Oregon Head Start Collaborations Director

2017 Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to our 2017 scholarship recipients!

The Oregon Head Start Association is proud to announce our scholarship recipients for 2017. There were roughly 17 applicants for every scholarship we awarded. The applicants had amazing stories that made selecting the winners difficult for the committee. We commend all of our applicants for sharing their stories and pursuing higher education!

Richard C Alexander Early Head Start Parent Scholarship

Every year OHSA awards a $2,000 scholarship to a parent of a child enrolled in Early Head Start. This award is named in honor of Richard C. (Dick) Alexander, business leader and entrepreneur. Dick Alexander had a deep commitment to focusing resources where they can make the greatest difference: early childhood. He was the architect of the Ready for School campaign which leveraged the power of business and civic leaders to secure an additional $39 million in state funding for Oregon Head Start Pre-kindergarten’s most vulnerable children. In 2010, his advocacy resulted in the Oregon Legislature allocating a million dollars to the Department of Education to establish a state-funded EHS program. This placed Oregon as a front runner in developing a state and federally funded system for early childhood services, prenatal to age 5. We are happy to announce Kaela Patterson from Mt Hood Community College Head Start as the 2017 recipient of the Richard C Alexander Early Head Start Parent Scholarship.

Frank Roberts Memorial Scholarships

In addition to an illustrious teaching career, Frank Roberts served over 25 years as a member of the Oregon State Legislature, retiring in August 1993. Senator Roberts is remembered for his skilled service as a leader of the Education and Human Resources Subcommittees and was a leader in establishing state funding for the Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten Program. His dedication to children and families, commitment to the disabled, advocacy for early childhood education and Head Start, and his unwavering commitment to education at every level made him a hero for thousands of Oregonians.

We remember Senator Roberts memory by annually awarding two $2,000 scholarships in his honor. The Frank Roberts Memorial Scholarship for Graduating High School Seniors is being awarded to Adrianna Vaca-Navarro of Hood River. The scholarship for Head Start parent is being awarded to Sarah Mortensen of Neighborhood House Head Start. 

Ken Lyday Memorial Staff Scholarship

Kenneth Lyday was a long-time Head Start teacher and a member of the Oregon, Region X, and National Head Start Association boards. He began teaching at Mt Hood Community College Head Start in 1992 and continued there until his passing in 2016. Ken’s passion for Head Start was apparent to everyone who met him.

We are honored to continue Ken’s legacy by awarding a $2,000 scholarship annually. We are happy to announce Danielle Everson from Mt Hood Community College Head Start as the first recipient of the Ken Lyday Memorial Staff Scholarship.

Congratulations to the 2017 OHSA scholarship recipients!