As part of its discussions with Upbring Head Start to renew its Pre-K program, El Campo ISD board of trustees unanimously voted to add a third classroom at Myatt Elementary School at its May meeting.
“With new Pre-K regulations, it is advantageous and soon to be required for both parties to work together for the benefit of the students,” Superintendent Kelly Waters said.
“Ms. (Principal Mauri) Couey does have room and is in agreement with adding the additional Upbring Headstart Pre-K classroom.”
“This year we are wrapping up our first year of a partnership with Head Start. We were able to have two Pre-K teachers who were hired as Head Start teachers,” said Dolores Trevino, assistant superintendent.
Upbring reimburses the district for half of the Head Start funded teacher’s salary and benefits and all of the Head Start funded teacher assistant salary and benefits for each classroom serving the program.
“We were approached by Head Start last year, and it was about being able to provide the kids who are eligible with more services,” Trevino said.
A memorandum of understanding between the district and the Upbring Head Start program is up for approval at a future meeting.
Upbring has plans to take applications, assist with identifying students in need, provide educational development to an additional 40 to 60 Pre-K Head Start students, provide a family advocate to parents and to assist teachers with home visits and meetings and furnish classrooms with materials. Head Start also focuses on nutrition and dental hygiene.
Myatt currently has two Head Start classrooms, and usually enrolls 160 Pre-K students.
“Every year I have a handful of Kindergarten students who have never been to Pre-K or a daycare,” Couey said. “We track the data on how valuable Pre-K is. It’s resources I don’t want to turn down to any of our families in El Campo.”
“The goal is to target our neediest families. Head Start provides all school uniforms, snacks and stuff for parties. They make it inexcusable for you not to have your kid at school,” Couey added.