Head Start Improvement Act of 2017 Letter

We recently joined with all of the state and regional Head Start associations to send a  letter to Senator Lee and Congressman Banks expressing our concerns with the Head Start Improvement Act of 2017 that they recently introduced. This legislation proposes block granting Head Start which is a dramatic change in the funding structure potentially undermining quality, outcomes, and local decision-making.

Oregon Budget Update April 17, 2017

A more detailed state budget proposal was released this week. The good news for Head Start is we are not being targeted for cuts! We are grateful that the Legislature realizes the proven value of Head Start. However, many of our partner organizations do have proposed cuts.

The legislative session is only halfway through, so more changes will likely occur to the budget proposal. When it is time to act on the budget proposal, we will send information to our Action Alert Network.

Eastern Oregon Head Start Continues Conscious Discipline Journey

Eastern Oregon Head Start formally adopted Conscious Discipline as a program philosophy over 5 years ago. Since Conscious Discipline has been a part of the program they have grown in many ways while recognizing that they have many more years of practice before they would consider themselves a model school. Presently, the most powerful Conscious Discipline skill for their program is composure; realizing that no one can make you angry without your permission.

Eastern Oregon Head Start has expanded their home visiting services to include individualized Conscious Discipline home visiting to families. The program also holds community-wide parent training and partners with Early Learning Hubs and Mental Health Providers to offer training for professionals in Eastern Oregon.


Guest post by Robert Kleng

Seeking Oregon’s Next Teacher of the Year

(Salem, Ore) – Every year, the Oregon Department of Education honors teachers and their impact on students’ lives through the Oregon Teacher of the Year award. The award recognizes an outstanding teacher as a representative of all of the educators in our state and gives Oregonians an opportunity to share information on teachers who are making a difference in their communities. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Oregon Teacher of the Year award.

“In my travels across the state of Oregon, I have been privileged to meet countless extraordinary teachers who are experts in their field and who inspire students to strive for greatness every day,” said Deputy Superintendent Salam Noor. “We know there are many excellent educators across the state of Oregon, and one way to elevate teacher voice in our state is to celebrate and recognize one of these outstanding educators who can serve as the face and voice of this admirable profession.”

Anyone can nominate a prekindergarten through grade 12 teacher for the award, but teachers may not nominate themselves. Candidates should have the respect and admiration of their colleagues and:

  • Be an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success.
  • Deliberately connect the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large.
  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning.
  • Express themselves in an engaging and articulate way.

We encourage you to nominate an outstanding educator deserving of recognition today! Nominating is an easy, four-step online form. To nominate an educator for 2018 Oregon Teacher of the Year, click here. The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 12, 2017 and the award will be announced later this fall.

The Oregon Department of Education is proud to partner with the Oregon Lottery to honor Oregon teachers through the Teacher of the Year award. Once selected, the Teacher of the Year and his or her school are each awarded a $5,000 cash prize. Two runners-up also each receive an award of $2,000.

Oregon’s Teacher of the Year will continue to teach in the classroom and will have opportunities to speak and present around the state. In addition, he or she can to apply for the National Teacher of the Year award and attend several out-of-state events, including a trip to Washington, D.C. where he or she has the opportunity to meet the President at the White House.

To learn more about the Teacher of the Year program or to make a nomination today, go to:http://oregonteacheroftheyear.org/.

2017 Advocacy Actions #FundHeadStart

Check out these great Head Start Advocates! Please share your photos and videos with us by emailing them, or a link to them, to info@ohsa.net. Tweets and Instagram posts with #FundHeadStart should automatically appear below.

Photos and Videos

The March 30 meeting of the House Committee On Early Childhood and Family Supports had some great content in regards to Head Start! HB 3106-3 passed out of committee and Dr Pakulak from the University of Oregon testified about the brain research he’s been conducting in partnership with Head Start of Lane County.

Head Start advocates with Nancy Nathanson

Check out the testimony on Head Start to the House Committee On Early Childhood and Family Supports. The testimony starts at the last gray dot (around 1:10).

February 2017 Collaboration Office Corner

As we move towards full implementation of the new Head Start Program Performance Standards that were released in the fall (which intend for nearly all Head Start programs to offer full school day and full school year services by 2021) it is exciting to know that 16 of the Head Start programs in our state have been awarded extended duration grants. These grants only support a portion of classrooms (as requested by grantee and up to 40% of enrollment) and are only one step in this process.

Congress allocated these funds as a down payment toward ensuring that nearly all preschool-age children in Head Start attend programs that operate for a full day and full school year. This supplemental funding allows Head Start programs to choose the models that work best for their communities when designing programs with more total annual hours. Programs work with parents in deciding to add days at the end of the year, to shorten the summer gap, to add more hours per day or a combination of both; with 1050 hours being the goal and timeframes mirroring Kindergartens in their service area. The operational funds awarded to each grantee will become part of the grantee’s base funding subject to appropriations. The following programs will be implementing their extended duration classrooms with varying timelines, but all should have classrooms operational by the fall of 2017.


Albina Head Start

Clackamas County Children’s Commission

Community Action Organization

Community Action Team Inc. of Columbia County

Community Services Consortium

Eastern Oregon University

Head Start of Lane County

Kids & Company of Linn County

Klamath Family Head Start

Mid-Columbia Children’s Council, Inc

Mt Hood Community College


Oregon Child Development Coalition

Oregon Coast Community Action

Southern Oregon Child & Family Council, Inc.

Umatilla Morrow Head Start, Inc.

For more information see:



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 Children’s Agenda

Children's Agenda

We are once again proud partners in the creation of the Children’s Agenda. We have been a partner since the first Agenda was created in 2015. We’ve been excited to watch the group grow from 65 organizations in the first year, to over 90! By coming together, we can amplify our voices to make Oregon a great place to be a kid!

You can learn more about the Children’s Agenda at http://www.orunitedforkids.org/.

Calling all Head Start preschool teachers!

My research team and I are developing the Facilitators and Self-efficacy for Teaching Outdoors (F-STO). It is a 35-question survey to assess facilitators and level of self-efficacy needed to successfully use outdoor learning centers to foster learning in preschools. The survey will measure how Head Start preschool teachers feel about planning and preparing to teach in an outdoor learning center, demonstrating and teaching in an outdoor learning center, their general comfort in nature, and their perceptions of preschooler benefits and their level of access to facilitators for sustainable use of OLCs and we need YOUR help!

We want to ensure that the survey is measuring what we think it is measuring, and in order to make sure, we need to talk to Head Start teachers, like you, about your thoughts on the survey.

The whole process should take 30 minutes to 1 hour of your time to:

1. Participate in a telephone interview with one of the members of our research team

2. If you are willing, please respond with times you would be available to talk for 60 minutes (just to be on the safe side) in the next week. For your time, we will give you a $10 gift card from Walmart.

We appreciate your help. Please feel free to share this e-mail with other friends who are Head Start preschool teachers.

Thank you,

Jennifer McMillen, PhD Candidate
NCSU, Department FBNS

January Collaboration Office Corner

In early December the Early Learning Division hosted an Early Learning Partnerships meeting between Head Start Directors and Hub leaders in areas where we have Preschool Promise programs. Attendees reported that they appreciated this opportunity to come together and the conversations held were robust and diverse depending on the community and where programs were in developing their relationship and understanding of how to best work with each other. We will continue to build on these meetings by surveying current participants on the best way to build this work out. Feel free to contact me with any thoughts or constructive feedback on how to continue this work!

Over the past year the Early Learning Division has been working closely with our partners in Region 10 to renew a longstanding Memorandum of Understanding that had helped to outline our work together. The result of this work is the “Partnership for Oregon Head Start Guiding Roles and Responsibilities”. This guiding document outlines the way that Office of Head Start Region 10, programs represented by the Oregon Head Start Association, and the Oregon Early Learning Division work together to support the unique funding model for Oregon programs.

Delaying Compliance Date on Background Checks

On December 6, 2016 the Office of Head Start released a notice that will delay the compliance date for background checks procedures, which was originally described in the Head Start Program Performance Standards final rule that was published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2016. The new effective date of September 30, 2017 aligns with background check requirement deadlines for systems in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, 20 U.S.C. § 1431 et seq., 20.

Because the Child Care Registry in Oregon currently runs on a 2 year cycle it will be imperative for staff to immediately comply to new standards as they renew in the registry.

Knowledge for knowledge’s sake

As we start 2017 it is exciting to look back at some of the wonderful research that was released in the past month to support the work that we do and also that helps guide us moving forward.  Recent research from the University of Chicago published in December “shows that high quality birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children can deliver a 13% per year return on investment – a rate substantially higher than the 7=10% return previous established for preschool programs serving 3- to 4-year-olds.” All of this is very exciting as programs look at how to assure their work with families starts earlier. Benefits shown were looked at over a 30 year period making it possible to measure “Lifecycle Benefits” things like eventual labor income, years of education, high school graduation rates, health, and crime involvement. The specific programs whose results were studied provided care for more than 9 hours a day over the course of five years (as well as incorporating nutrition and access to healthcare). Which speaks to the importance of scaffolding developmental supports and offering services for enough hours to support stability for children and parents an opportunity to pursue educational and career goals (http://heckmanequation.org/content/resource/lifecycle-benefits-influential-early-childhood-program-one-pager).

The National Institute for Early Education Research also released the “State(s) of Head Start report” which provides a breakdown of what is happening in states across the country. The exciting news for Oregon (http://nieer.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/HS_Oregon_Profile.pdf) is that we are exceeding both the national average and the research-based threshold in Emotional Support and Classroom Organization for Classroom Quality Scores.  It also reported that only 11% of the children served by Head Start in Oregon have at least 1,020 hours of service per year, compared to the national average of 42% of children. Consequently there is a lot of work to be done in order to increase duration and children’s exposure to our quality classrooms. Region 10 Office of Head Start is working with a number of grantees to increase duration to this threshold as soon as Fall 2017; and sooner for Early Head Start.

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

Partnering with Researchers to Get Families Interested in Engineering

We all know that young children are natural learners, fascinated with the world around them. Furthermore, interests and passions sparked in preschool can often have important implications for years to come. But how do we know when a child is interested in a topic or activity? And how do we work with parents and caregivers to foster and support these early interests?

Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation, MHCC Head Start has the chance to investigate these questions in collaboration with researchers and educators from around the community. In partnership with the Institute for Learning Innovation, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and the University of Notre Dame, MHCC has launched the Head Start on Engineering project, designed to understand and support how young children and their families get interested in the topic of engineering during early childhood and how these interests develop and flourish with the support of parents, caregivers, and Head Start staff. Engineering is not only a topic of growing importance in schools, but it’s also a life skill, helping children and adults solve problems and create solutions at home, at work, and beyond. Introducing families to the topic of engineering and sparking young children’s interests in planning, building, testing, and problem-solving helps prepare them for school, life, and future careers.

The Head Start on Engineering project launched in October 2016 and began offering programming and resources for families this December. For the first two years of the project, the team is working with Head Start teachers and family workers at the Rockwood site to plan, gather input from families, and test new programs and activities. In the fall of 2016, the team offered two full-day professional development workshops for staff members at Rockwood and three other sites, during which teachers, family workers, and assistants learned about engineering, explored examples of engineering and design in their own lives, tested new engineering activities for families and young children, and provided input on future programs. Beginning this January, a group of Rockwood families has now been recruited to participate in five months of program and research activities, including parent nights, home visits, take-home activity kits, and a field trip to OMSI. Lessons learned and resources developed from this pilot program will be shared throughout the MHCC Head Start organization and will contribute to new plans for future work at sites beyond Rockwood.

To learn more about Head Start on Engineering, visit the project website or email Pam Corrie, director of MHCC Head Start and Early Head Start.