Pre-K Parent Connect

PreK Classroom
High Quality Pre-K Evaluation
2020-21


Curriculum: Our campus is currently in its 8th year of adoption with the Frog Street Press Pre-K Curriculum. Not only is the Frog Street Curriculum on the approved list of adopted curriculum for Prekindergarten, but it also addresses the Revised Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (Updated 2015) in the following domains:

  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Language and Communication
  • Emergent Literacy Reading
  • Emergent Literacy Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Fine Arts
  • Physical Development and Health
  • Technology


Ten of our Pre-K teachers have attended the three-day Frog Street Conference in Grapevine, Texas. This conference has not only addressed the units and components within the curriculum, but it has also introduced our staff to well-known leaders, authors and educators within the Early Childhood Education field such as Don Monopoli (musical artist with the Learning Station), Becky Baily (author of Conscious Discipline), and Dan St. Romain (educational behavioral consultant), just to name a few. Through their attendance at this conference, our teachers have stayed informed and current on new legislative developments in Early Childhood, gained greater understanding and awareness of behavioral skills and techniques to use in the classroom through Conscious Discipline, and acquired new instructional information and strategies to use in the classroom specifically for Early Education.

We also implemented a supplementary curriculum, Handwriting without Tears, that compliments and enriches our current Frog Street curriculum. This program is used in conjunction with our main curriculum and targets proper pencil grip for little hands, correct letter/number formation to improve handwriting skills, and help students link letter/sound identification in a written form. 

Student Progress Monitoring: Kaufman ISD is very proud of their students’ academic accomplishments and understands that this type of success must start at the very beginning, in Early Childhood. We take learning very seriously at Helen Edwards ECC and are actively looking for ways to help our students achieve both academically and within Fine Arts. As a way to monitor our student’s success, we are members of the Childhood Learning Institute (CLI) where we have access to teacher trainings and modules, a student progress monitoring system tool, and a variation of data reports. We have been active members of CLI Engage for the past three years and utilize the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring tool that measures:

  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Language and Communication
  • Emergent Literacy Reading
  • Emergent Literacy Writing
  • Mathematics

You can view our Pre-K data summary:
 

Along with CIRCLE, which is included on the Commissioner’s List of Approved Prekindergarten Progress Monitoring Instruments, we also use Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment (TX KEA) as our Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Instrument, which is also listed on the Commissioner’s list. Through the use of these two measuring tools, we actively track and monitor our student’s learning and provide instructional interventions as needed for each individual student. Because here at Helen Edwards, “learning is our business!”

Teacher Qualifications: We are proud that each of our Pre-K teachers are certified teachers through the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and receive continuing education in the field of Early Childhood. Each of our teachers are also required to complete 150 cumulative hours of professional development addressing all ten domains in the Pre-K Guidelines. This is not an easy task, as one third of their hours must be completed through “experiential learning, coaching, and/or instructional support.” Our Regional Service Center (Region 10) and district support has offered exceptional trainings and support, which helps our teachers reach this robust requirement. 

 
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Helen Edwards’ Family Engagement Plan

Our Pre-K Family Engagement Program has grown over the past year and we are looking forward to expanding our program even more this upcoming school year. There are six areas that our Family Engagement Plan encompasses. Due to COVID restrictions, we are having to modify and limit our Family Engagement Plan.

  • Family to Family Support: We provide multiple opportunities for our families to gather together and build a rapport with one another. Each opportunity address different areas of learning, which allows for growth and expansion of support for the families:
    • Love and Logic Parenting Classes
    • Room “mom” for classroom parties
    • Parent Volunteer Center
    • Class Field Trips
  • Community Resources: We currently have a Parent Volunteer Center where all parents (not just Pre-k) can come and access a wealth of information as it relates to Early Childhood Education, developmental milestones for children, and local community resources. Our Parent Volunteer center is also equipped with various tools so that our parents can assist teachers with copying, laminating, cutting, decorating, etc. We also hosted a Family Fun Night at a local park where our campus teamed up with the City of Kaufman and other community organizations for a night of family fun and learning. Our local police force, fire department, community hospital and dentist were all present for the fun and support!
  • Family Participation in Decision Making: Each year, we have a parent representative on our Campus Improvement Committee and for our Campus Needs Assessment. We schedule a time that is convenient for them and ask for their input and perspective regarding our campus and programs. We also encourage our parents to volunteer and help coordinate our monthly birthday tables and organize a “parent day” during Teacher Appreciation Week.
  • Tools to Enhance and Extend Learning: This past year, we hosted quarterly parent meetings in the afternoon where we invited guest speakers and discussed some of the latest “hot topics” in early childhood that affect parents. Some of our “hot topics” included discipline, kids with technology, and building resiliency within your kids. We found success with our quarterly parent meetings, but we are looking to build parental involvement both on and off campus for this upcoming school year with our parents that will make a notable difference in our student’s learning and educational experience.

We are also excited to to offer the Latino Family Literacy Project. The Latino Family Literacy Project provides bilingual/bicultural Family Literacy Programs that are tailored to the special needs of Latino children at all developmental ages. The program encourages parents to develop new skills and new communication to help establish and support a family reading routine, improve English-language skills, improve Spanish literacy skills, and strengthen parent/child interaction. We are excited to learn more about this program and the success we will see in our Hispanic family population.

  • Develop Staff Skills that Support Families: As a district and campus, we have put intense effort in developing both our social and academic skills in cultural awareness. We have put forth extensive efforts in trainings specifically in our Bilingual/ESL population and Special Populations services. We want to extend our awareness to include students and families new to our campus and community. To assist in this effort, we are developing a New Student Welcome program that will be led by our counselor and support staff. As part of our New Student Welcome program we are developing a short welcome and informational video that can be given to our families once they register their student on our campus. Our video will also be available on-line at our campus web-page for the entire community to view. 
  • Evaluate Family Engagement: To help ensure that our Family Engagement Program is meeting the needs and interests of our parent population, we ask that our families fill out an informational sheet at the beginning of each school year. This informational sheet will help us obtain information from our Pre-K families so that we can better serve their needs and narrow down our targeted family curriculum for that school year. We also feel that it is very important to obtain feedback from our parents through-out the year, so we ask our parents to complete surveys after each quarterly family meeting. Their feedback and response helps us make adjustments and decisions as we move forward in developing our program.