Attachment A

 

 

BRIGHT STARS ANNUAL REPORT

2003-2004

 

Albemarle County’s Preschool Program for 4 year-olds

 

WHAT THE BEST AND WISEST PARENT WANTS FOR HIS OWN CHILD, THAT MUCH THE COMMUNITY WANTS FOR ALL ITS CHILDREN

                              JOHN DEWEY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Stars Mission

 

To increase the opportunities to learn for our children and their families by promoting family involvement and addressing risk factors that affect school performance

 

 

MEET OUR BRIGHT STARS

 

In a Bright Stars classroom, children are involved throughout the day in learning, exploring, questioning and problem-solving.

 

Bright Stars students follow a similar schedule as other elementary school students:  they arrive on the morning bus, eat breakfast, go to their classroom for large and small group time, work time, story, clean-up, bathroom, outdoor time, lunch, nap, snack and getting ready to board the buses home.  As required by the Virginia Preschool Initiative Grant, they attend school for 6.25 hours 180 days per year.

                           

The quality of life for a child and the contributions the child makes to society as an adult can be traced back to the first few years of life.  From birth until about 5 years old a child undergoes tremendous growth and change.  If this period of life includes support for growth in cognition, language, motor skills, adaptive skills and social-emotional functioning, the child is more likely to succeed in school and later contribute to society.

 

A well-managed and well –funded early childhood development program, or ECDP, provides such support.  Current ECDPs include home visits, as well as center-based programs to supplement and enhance the ability of parents to provide a solid foundation for their children.

                 

Early Childhood education receives a strong endorsement in a landmark study released in November 2004 that shows low-income children who attended a high-quality preschool were better off in most ways at age 40.  The children were more likely to be high school graduates, to be employed and had higher incomes than a comparison group that did not attend preschool. They also were less likely to have committed crimes.

 

The preschool group also performed better through the years on intellectual and language tests, school achievement tests and literacy tests.

 

Abecedarian, Chicago and High/Scope – Quoted at the Conference on Education and Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

 

I.             PROGRAM DEMOGRAPHICS

 

·        5 Classrooms – Agnor-Hurt, Cale, Greer, Scottsville, Stone-Robinson

 

·        80 Children:  16 children per classroom

 

·        5 Licensed teachers at Bachelors’ or Master’s level, certified in Early Childhood

 

·        5 Teaching assistants

 

·        5 Family Coordinators at Bachelors’ or Master’s level, licensed as social workers, professional counselors or teachers

 

·        Gender:     48% Male     52% Female

 

·        Race:30% AA,3% Biracial,45% Caucasian,20% Hispanic,     2% Other

 

·        ESOL:  There are no formal ESOL services provided in the preschool year, however, 15-17% of families across the program have limited English proficiency and in three of the Bright Stars classes the number is higher than 40%

 

·        Family Characteristics: 44% Single Parent, 49% Illiterate or Limited Education

 

·        Other noteworthy characteristics:  Family histories of domestic violence and incarcerations; previous Child Protective Services and/or Foster Care involvement; siblings had difficulty in school; mental health issues

 

     “If you start early enough, you can alleviate some of the most costly interventions. It is a very, very, wise early intervention that pays off tenfold not only in the school system but the family support system, our juvenile delinquency system, our prisons.”

Cheryl Wright, Associate Professor and

Director of the Child and Family Development

Center at the U. of Utah

 

HOW ARE THE BRIGHT STARS DOING?

Trends

 

·        All classrooms have the maximum number of students (16); 3 schools have waiting lists.  In late June 2004 a 6th Bright Stars classroom was approved for the Woodbrook district.

 

·        The children who are entering the program have higher risk scores meaning they have more barriers to overcome in order to be successful.

 

·        The number of Hispanic students has substantially increased in the last 3 years; the number of parents who have Limited English Proficiency is increasing.

 

·        Bright Stars has taken on a major socializing role for immigrant students and families.

 

·        Bright Stars families have the services of a Spanish-language interpreter/consultant and staff that have skills in Spanish.

 

·        Scores on language and literacy and math measures are going up.

 

·        More children are sustaining or regaining their progress in Bright Stars into Kindergarten and Grade 1 and beyond.

 

·        Referrals for early interventions are getting children and families the help they need earlier.

 

·        Teachers report that Bright Stars children enter kindergarten with positive attitudes towards school and already understand appropriate school behavior.

 

·        Bright Stars parents come to school for parent conferences and other school events; they talk to teachers about children’s progress; they ask for help to know what to do at home.

 

 

·        Bright Stars students are getting medical and dental services

 

  II.   BRIGHT STARS PROGRAM OUTCOMES

 

2004 PROGRAM RESULTS

 

 

Outcome Measure

Measurement

Goal

Actual

Children who are in Bright Stars for at least six months reach or exceed the  benchmark/developmental range scores on the PreK PALS at the end of the preschool year

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening Summary Report

 

FY04 Target 90%

 

 

FY04 Actual 97%

 

 

 

Outcome Measure

Measurement

Goal

Actual

Bright Stars alumni achieve the benchmark score on the KPALS during the kindergarten year.

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening for Kindergarten

 

FY04 Target: 80-85%

 

 

FY 04 Actual: 85%

 

 

 

Outcome Measure

Measurement

Goal

Actual

Parents of BS children attend at least one Bright Stars/school function during the school year

Parent Involvement Log

 

FY04 Target: 100%

 

 

FY04 Actual:   97.5%

 

 

 

HOW ARE THE BRIGHT STARS DOING?

(Language and Literacy)

 

 

 

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening

Bright Stars Students*

 

PreK PALS

Fall

Spring

Gain (Loss)

Agnor-Hurt

47%

100%

53

Cale

13%

100%

87

Greer

56%

100%

44

Scottsville

33%

93%

60

Stone-Robinson

40%

100%

60

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Overall, 97% of the 2003-2004 Bright Stars met or exceeded the benchmark score by the spring.

    Overall, 97% of the 2002-2003 Bright Stars met or exceeded the benchmark score by the spring.

    Overall, 88% of the 2001-2002 Bright Stars met or exceeded the benchmark score by the spring.

 

Bright Stars who do not reach or exceed the benchmark or who demonstrate deficits in one or more areas are referred for extra help to the Bright Stars Summer School, PALS tutoring, Title I, ESOL services or Special Education.  Approximately ¼ to 1/3 of the students are referred to one or more of these services every year.

 

 

*Students tested include those who have English as a second language.

 

 

 

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening – All County Schools

Kindergarten 2004 (spring)

 

 

School

 

# of students taking

the test

 

% of students who

met Benchmark

 

% of Bright Stars

who met Benchmark

 

Agnor-Hurt

63

 

84%

69%

Cale

79

89%

 

89%

Greer

77

90%

 

93%

Scottsville

24

88%

 

77%

Stone-Robinson

71

89%

 

100%

 

 

Phonological Awareness Literacy – All County Schools

Grade 1 2004 (spring)

 

 

School

 

# of students taking

 the test

% of Students who

met Benchmark

% of Bright Stars

who met Benchmark

Agnor-Hurt

 

53

85%

80%

Cale

 

85

92%

80%

Greer

 

64

95%

75%

Scottsville

 

28

79%

83%

Stone-Robinson

 

61

89%

90%

                              

                                               

Bright Stars Students and Graduates

Classroom Performance/Grade Level Status

 

Reading

Grade                                                   

At or Above Grade’/

 Level

Below Grade Level

Kindergarten

40

18

Grade 1

29

16

Grade 2

29

12

Grade 3

18

7

 

Math

 

Grade

 

At or Above Grade Level

 

Below Grade level

Kindergarten

47

11

Grade 1

30

15

Grade 2

34

7

Grade 3

13

15

 

 

 

Attendance

 

Grade

 

<16 Absences

 

> 16 Absences

 

Total

Kindergarten

48

9

57

Grade 1

 

42

5

47

Grade 2

 

40

1

41

Grade 3

 

25

4

29

 

SOL Scores – Grade 3

Reading/Writing

Total Taking Test

 

Passed

Did Not Pass

28

20

8

 

 

III.BRIGHT STARS Program Activities

 

 Family Component

·        Families are offered more than 18 opportunities to be involved with their child’s education: Parent Conference, Field Trips, Parent Training and Education, Monthly Family Nights and Family Events

·        97.5% of families attended at least one family event during the 2003-2004 school year. 

·        The average number of events attended by families was 5

 

Educational Component

·        High/Scope Curriculum supplemented by Virginia Foundations for Learning in Reading and Math

·        Albemarle County’s Best Practices for Preschool and other resources.

 

Social Services Component

·        Comprehensive case management services for all enrolled children and their families

·        Includes referrals for benefits, assistance with completing and renewing benefit applications, access to Career Center for education and employment opportunities, facilitating access to health, dental and mental health care, housing assistance, parent education, translation services, legal services and adult education.

 

Health Component

·        All children are required to have physical and dental health screenings and vision, hearing and speech screenings

·        More extensive health services are provided by referral.

 

Transportation

·        All children are provided with transportation to and from school daily

·        Parents can receive transportation assistance to appointments and school events as needed.

 

Community Support

·        Supporting organizations include:  Albemarle County Schools, Martha Jefferson Hospital, Community Idea Stations (PBS), Book Baskets, Luck Stone Corporation, Thomas Jefferson Emergency Food Bank, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Needlework Guild, Partnership for Children, CARES/MACAA.

 

Staff Development

·        Instructional staff (teachers and teaching assistants) follow school division guidelines for staff development and recertification

·        Social Services staff attend workshops and events

 

Community Outreach

·        Participation in Dogwood Parade, Albemarle County Day, Bright Stars 5K Run, Week of the Young Child, local businesses.

 

 

IV.        KINDERGARTEN READINESS

 

·        High/Scope Curriculum: is a high quality early childhood curriculum that features concentration on language and literacy, math, science, social studies, socialization, exploration, fine and gross motor development, emotional regulation and initiative; High/Scope is supplemented with other Albemarle County best practices in early childhood education.  In addition, Bright Stars follow Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Guidelines for Literacy and Mathematics developed by the Office of Elementary Instructional Services at the Virginia Department of Education.

 

·        Transition-to-Kindergarten:   activities offered throughout the year.  Riding the school bus, participating in school-wide activities, utilizing the playground, cafeteria, computer lab, gym and library, meeting kindergarten teachers and the principal; learning about and following school rules and procedures and observing older children; having reading buddies in other grades, following a regular kindergarten classroom visitation schedule particularly in the late winter and spring.

 

·        Parent Involvement:   involving parents in classroom and wider school culture – helping to learn school expectations and helping the school to address parental concerns; promoting opportunities for parents to provide regular at-home learning experiences.  During the Bright Stars year, more than 18 opportunities are provided for parents to attend classroom or all-school functions including, parent-teacher conferences, open house, filed trips, Family Nights, community events and transition to school events.  The Family Coordinators are charged with seeking a variety of ways to involve parents in the education of their children.

 

·        PreK, K Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening: Bright Stars children engage in daily, focused language and literacy experiences including rhyme awareness, upper-case alphabet recognition, lower-case alphabet recognition, letter sounds, beginning sound awareness, name writing and printing and word awareness. Other best practices taught on a daily basis include listening to stories about the seasons, animals, transportation, important people, the family, holiday, community helpers, colors, numbers and letters, folk tales and classic children’s stories; developing predictive skills, alternative endings, comparing and contrasting stories, finger pointing to distinguish individual words and left to right orientation.

 

·        PreK, K, 1 Team Meetings:    Opportunities for teachers to discuss early childhood curriculum; continuum of learning, student progress, referrals for testing or other early interventions, developing common goals, planning, grade level expectations.

 

·        Summer School:  Summer School has been offered for the past 2 years at Agnor-Hurt and Cale Elementary Schools for all Bright Stars referred for extra help by their Bright Stars teachers and their parents.  The program runs parallel to the Albemarle County Summer School Program. It is more intensely focused on developing and mastering pre-reading skills.

 

In school year 2003-2004, 16 Bright Stars, representing all 5 program sites, attended the month-long Summer School programs held at Cale and Agnor-Hurt Elementary schools. All of these children (100%) reached or exceeded the benchmark score on the Kindergarten PALS in the fall of 2004.

 

·        Family Assessment: All families are accessed by the Family Coordinators at the beginning of the school year. These assessments typically take place in the homes of the Bright Stars students and are intended to foster a positive working relationship between the parent and the school and to identify needs that could be addressed by referrals to community recourses.  Family Coordinators talk with families about family history and characteristics, particular needs of the parents, siblings and the Bright Stars child and the expectations placed on parents by the program guidelines.

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A

Parent Satisfaction Survey – 2003 – 2004

·        “I love the program.  My son progressed so much throughout the year.  I believe academically he is more than ready for kindergarten.  Socially he has progressed and will continue in kindergarten.  Thank you for providing this opportunity.”

·        “The teachers were extremely helpful, especially during a problem my son had at school. They kept me informed and they helped work to alleviate the problem.”

·        “I liked the variety of times of the family events and the different events.”

·        “I was very pleased with all the support and effort put forth by the (family coordinator and the teacher).  They did not give up on my child and I feel that is most important.”

·        (Family Coordinator) “Very informative about programs and resources, asks good questions in a concerned manner. I never felt uncomfortable talking to her about our needs.”

·        “We were very pleased with the improvement of my child’s vocabulary as well as her social skills around other children her age.

 

 

Appendix B

School Staff Survey – 2004

 

The Bright Stars Steering Committee in conjunction with Strumpf Associates, conducted a school staff survey in April 2004 for the purpose of gathering data from Bright Stars school staff on their awareness and knowledge of the program.  Below are a sampling of questions, responses and comments:

 

*    I support the Bright Stars program.

    Strongly agree or Agree 97.9%

 

*    I believe the Bright Stars program serves a useful educational purpose.

Strongly agree or Agree 98%

 

*    I have seen a positive difference in a child who has been in Bright Stars as compared to one who has not been.

Strongly agree or Agree 86%

 

*    I have a clear understanding of how the Bright Stars program can make a difference for a child’s ability to learn when they enter my classroom.

Strongly agree or Agree 92.8%

 

Comments

 

·        “Bright Stars teacher and Family Coordinator are closely involved with K-1 classroom teachers in order to ensure smooth transition to upper grades.  Family Coordinator also communicates regularly with specialists who may serve them (Title I, Speech and Language, P.E., etc.  Teachers know they can go to her with family concerns, and she has served as a valuable liaison.”

 

·        “The Bright Stars program has done a great job of getting students and parents comfortable in a school setting and educating them as to what to expect when children enter Kindergarten.”

 

·         “The teacher is as much a part of the staff as any teacher in the school.  The coordinator is a positive force in            the school and community.”

 

·        “I think the Bright Stars program at my school is great and make is possible for the kids to transition well into kindergarten and the next school year. I wish more kids could be served.”

 

·        “I think it is a great program and it allows at-risk kids a chance to gain some skills before they begin kindergarten.  I think this program helps a lot of at-risk kids avoid special education services later on.”

 

·        “More academic activities to prepare them for the academic kindergarten programs. The social skills are really great so my only input would be more focus on reading and writing prep.”

 

·        “As the Literacy Specialist, I coordinate and plan most interventions in our building so I do work with Bright Stars staff quite often.  I know that since the implementation of Bright Stars here at Scottsville in 00-01, our academic success has sky-rocked and I do not believe that is a coincidence. Early intervention is the best practice for helping youngsters “catch up” for school success!  THANK YOU!!! for providing this for our kids.

 

 

APPENDIX C – Budget Information

 

 

Local Grant

                       5,000

u

State Grant

                    163,296

¨

School Contribution

                     23,000

 

County Contribution

                    321,052

 

 

 

 

Total

                  512,348

 

                                                        i.       Local grant is from Martha Jefferson Hospital

                                                   ii.       State grant is the Virginia Preschool Initiative Grant

 

       

Personnel Costs j

              463,405

Maintenance and Operation Costs k

                34,814

 

 

Total

              498,219

                                              iii.      Personnel cost include salaries, payroll taxes, insurance, etc.

                                                   iv.      Maintenance and operation costs include contract services,

      telecommunication charges, copying expenses, travel, postage, etc.

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