Region 10 Summer Conference

Now4ForeverThe Region 10 Preschool Services Team has been hard at work planning our 2015 Early Learning Conference which will be held June 23-25! This event is an exciting time for professionals involved the field of early childhood to come together and gain valuable knowledge.

This year we are having the event simultaneously at two locations for your convenience. Nationally known experts in the field as well as local favorites will present information on pertinent topics focusing on the education of young children from birth through age five. If early childhood education is your profession, this conference is for you!

Registration for the event will open in early May. In the meantime, be sure to save the date so that you don’t miss out on this fun learning experience! More information is located at the following link: http://www.region10.org/preschool-services/now-4-forever/

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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Happening Now! Public Hearing on Early Childhood Education Bills, Texas House of Representatives Education Committee

It’s an exciting day in the Texas Legislature! The Texas House of Representatives just began the hearing for several Public Education Bills on Early Childhood Education. It is a packed House!! Click the link below for the live feed:

http://tlchouse.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&event_id=1016

If the link above does not work, click the link below and look to the right of the webpage under legislative activity. Next to video broadcasts, click “House.” At that link, scroll down and you should find the link for Public Education. If you are unable to tune in now, the session will hopefully be archived for viewing later.

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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Early Childhood Education in the Legislature

CapitolWhen the Texas Legislature is in session there is never a dull moment! Early Childhood Education is a hot topic in the 84th legislative session and several Early Childhood and Pre-Kindergarten bills have been filed. Next Tuesday, March 10, hearings will be held regarding several of these bills.

It is important to be informed regarding what is taking place in the Texas Legislature regarding Early Childhood Education. Below are a couple of links that allow you to track various legislative items in order to keep up with what is going on related to our field:

Please keep in mind that many of your employers have specific guidelines regarding participation in political activity, so make sure that you adhere to the polices of your employer in tracking and/or commenting on legislation.

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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State Performance Plan Indicator 7

ImportantHappy New Year!! The State Performance Plan Indicator 7 (SPP 7) online application opened on January 1, 2015 for data entry for the 2014-15 school year.  For each Local Education Agency (LEA), data entry should begin at this time for all students age 3-5 with an IEP who were newly admitted into special education services this school year. This applies for students that entered special education through transfer into the LEA from another LEA or through initial evaluation and placement within the LEA.

The online data entry system is accessed through the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE). Please note that there can be multiple data entry designees per LEA; however, there can only be one Certifier per LEA for each SPP application.  Personnel from all LEAs are encouraged to review their TEASE roles for all SPP applications to ensure that the appropriate roles are assigned. All of the SPP applications will close on August 12, 2015. All data must be entered and certified by that date.

Information pertaining to SPP 7 can be found on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website at the following link: http://tea.texas.gov/Curriculum_and_Instructional_Programs/Special_Education/Data_and_Reports/General_Information_-_SPP_Indicator_7/.

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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White House Summit on Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood EducationThe White House Summit on Early Childhood Education is streaming live right now at the following link! Tune in now if you can. If not, hopefully this will be recorded and we can view it at a later date!www.whitehouse.gov/live/white-house-summit-early-childhood-education 

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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Parent Companion Website

Parent CompanionTake a moment to check out an exciting new resource for parents – the Parent Companion website! The goal of this new website is to provide information, inspiration, and resources for parents of children with a diagnosed or a suspected disability. The Parent Companion website was specifically designed for parents of children from birth to 5 years of age; however, there is much information that would be applicable for any parent of a child with special needs.

The Parent Companion website, available in English and in Spanish, was created through a Parent Companion - Spanishpartnership between Region 13 Education Service Center and Texas Parent-to-Parent with grant funding provided by the Texas Education Agency. The partnership between the Region 13 staff as “professional educators” and Texas Parent-to-Parent staff as “professional parents of children with disabilities” helped to create this important and necessary resource.

For website content, approximately 100 parents and professionals were interviewed in order to attain a real-life viewpoint provided from the perspective of personal experience. There are interviews and inspirational videos available in both English & Spanish on the website. The goal of Parent Companion is to help parents of young children with diagnosed or suspected disabilities realize that they are not alone. Also available, in addition to the videos and interviews, are over 100 articles that cover a large range of topics and important information.

spread the wordThe website is user-friendly, screen reader accessible, and can be accessed through any browser on any internet-capable device such as smart phone, tablet, or computer. Be sure to check it out at www.parentcompanion.org and then help spread the word to others that you feel would benefit from the information!

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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Preschool Expansion Grant

Pre-KTexas Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams, recently announced that Texas will submit an application for the federal preschool expansion grant. According to information on the Texas Education Agency website, Texas is eligible to receive a grant of up to $30 million per year for a period of four years because the state currently serves at least 10% of four-year-olds in prekindergarten programs.

In a statement, Commissioner Williams noted, “one way to begin closing the achievement gap in Texas is to better prepare children who are entering our public schools.” He went on to note, “with many high-quality pre-k programs already established in our communities, this federal grant allows an avenue to enhance and build upon that success.”

The formal application must be submitted by the Texas Education Agency to the U.S. Department of Education no later than October 14, 2014. The federal government will then announce the grant recipients in December of this year. The grant, if awarded, would begin serving students on or before December 31, 2015.

According to information on the U.S. Department of Education webpage, Texas is one of 23 states that have given notification of intent to apply for the grant. This could be a wonderful opportunity for young children in the State of Texas! It will be exciting to see how this process progresses in the coming weeks!

To view the press releases from the Texas Education Agency regarding the decision to apply for the expansion grant, please click on the following links:

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/news_release.aspx?id=25769817430&menu_id=692

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/news_release.aspx?id=25769817670

For information about the federal Preschool Development Grants Program, please click on this link:

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/preschooldevelopmentgrants/index.html.

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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Beyond Subprime Learning: Accelerating Progress in Early Education

Early Childhood EducationA policy brief related to the improvement of early childhood education was recently published by The New America Foundation. The report provides eight recommendations for reaching the goal of providing high-quality early childhood education that is aligned from birth through third grade. Each recommendation includes steps that can be taken by the various stakeholders who would be primarily responsible for a particular intervention. The current report is a follow-up to an earlier report that was written in January, 2014. To access both reports, please refer to the links below.

Please click the following link to view Subprime Learning: Early Education Since the Great Recession (January 2014) http://newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/policydocs/NewAmerica_SubprimeLearning_Release.pdf

Please click the following link to view Beyond Subprime Learning: Accelerating Progress in Early Education (July 2014): http://www.newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/policydocs/Beyond_Subprime_Learning_by_Bornfreund-et-al_New_America_Jul2014.pdf

 

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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Don’t Forget to Read!

Reading with a ChildSome of my earliest memories as a child have to do with reading. I am very thankful that I had parents who loved to read and instilled within me a love for reading. From sitting on the counter at the public library watching the librarian stamp the due date in my books to curling up with one of my parents to read, I loved interacting with books! This love for literacy began at an early age and continues today!

Did you know that reading to young children and reading with young children as they get older makes a tremendous impact on their school readiness and overall success in school? Well, it does, because these types of activities help promote early literacy! In fact, research has found that one of the most important activites for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. Research also shows that students who do not read proficiently by the 3rd grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma. I think this is pretty powerful information and it reiterates the importance of promoting literacy! So as the temperature begins to soar, it is a great time for people of all ages to curl up inside and read a book! And, if you have a young child, make sure that you read to that child daily!teacher reading

Also, for those of us who love to read, The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has a fun little activity that you can complete. If you’d like, click the following link and have some fun with your love of reading by taking their quiz to determine “Which Children’s Book Character Are You?” If you are identified as a character you aren’t familiar with, it will be a good excuse to read a great children’s book. I recently read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keets because evidently I’m a lot like Peter in that book!

Have Fun and Happy Reading!

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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Take Time to Reflect

Reflection - ChildThe first week in June marks the end of the school year for many Texas school districts. As the school year draws to a close there is often some time taken to reflect on the past year and cherish the memories provided by another group of children that we have nurtured and nourished. As you well know, there is so much that occurs in the classroom – character is built, relationships are formed, and life-long skills are learned. I have a short video for you that I think sums up the difference educators make in the lives of children and their families. In this case, the children are quite young – some of our earliest little learners! I hope you enjoy seeing these adorable children, their families, and their educators as they enjoy learning together!

http://animoto.com/play/8bkCaKlQ4amDRI01dCP4ZA

I hope that you enjoyed this video presentation. Did you know that Region 10 Education Service Center is a grantee for Head Start and Early Head Start? Currently, we are in partnership with 19 school districts for Head Start and 3 school districts for Early Head Start! To learn more about Region 10 Preschool Services, including the Head Start and Early Head Start programs, please click the following link: http://www.region10.org/preschool-services/index/

Many thanks go out to Linda Doak, Lead Infant/Toddler Teacher in the McKinney Early Head Start, for preparing this video presentation. This video was shown at a recent end-of-the-year family event in McKinney.

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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