Social Services  |  Bright Stars
 Picture of a boy walking into school.  Picture of a girl in school. ACDSS Logo  Picture of Bright Stars Artwork at the 2010 Mental Health Awareness Day.  Picture of two girls on a school bus.

A grant from the Virginia Preschool Initiative supports the Albemarle County Department of Social Services and School Division, as well as various community organizations, to work in a collaborative partnership to provide the Bright Stars preschool program. This high-quality preschool program for four year-olds aims to provide early learning experiences and comprehensive social supports for students and families, focusing on risk factors that can prevent academic and social success throughout the school years. Celebrating well over a decade of success and growth, Bright Stars is part of the Albemarle County Preschool Network which includes Head Start, Early Childhood Special Education and Title I. Bright Stars also partners with select private preschools when there are opportunities to serve additional children in these settings.

Bright Stars Teachers emphasize active learning in the classroom - recognizing that children learn best by doing, touching, feeling and acting. In addition, each classroom has a Bright Stars Family Coordinator who works closely with classroom teachers and other community resources to provide the support families need to succeed. Family Coordinators encourage parents' active involvement and engagement in their child's school experience and ongoing developmental progress.

The Albemarle County School Board and Board of Supervisors are committed to the support of early intervention programs that assist in achieving academic success. Consistent and comprehensive early interventions provided through quality preschool programming allow students and families to acquire the knowledge and skills that reduce the impact of risk factors and promote positive outcomes in all areas of development. In keeping with the intent of the funding initiatives of state and local government and efforts to serve children who might otherwise not have opportunities for a quality preschool experience, Bright Stars prioritizes children and families who have risk factors widely acknowledged to impact school performance, including: developmental delays, low income, unemployment, illiteracy or limited education of the parents, and family stressors such as mental or physical health problems, relationship issues, or substance abuse.

The major goals of the program are to provide age-appropriate education and enrichment opportunities for children, to help families access community resources necessary to sustain safe and stable family life, to facilitate early and active family involvement in their child's education, and to serve as a model of collaboration among the County's Department of Social Services and school system and various community agencies.

For more information regarding the Bright Stars program, please view the
FY 2018 Bright Stars Annual Report.

For information about applying for the program, please see
Albemarle County Preschool Programs.

Or you may download the application materials here and return to the appropriate local school:
2019 Albemarle County Preschool Network Application Packet in English
2019 Albemarle County Preschool Network Application Packet in Spanish