Program OverviewThe SAUSD HeadStart Program is a comprehensive child-development program designed to meet the educational, emotional, social, health, and nutritional needs of children and their families. The program encompasses much more than what is generally thought of as a preschool program. The overall goal of HeadStart is to bring about a greater degree of "social competence" to children and their families. Social competence refers to the everyday effectiveness in dealing with both present environment and later responsibilities in school and life. Children and families leave HeadStart more confident in their own abilities and ready to succeed. HeadStart services are available to preschool children from low-income families at no cost. SAUSD has HeadStart centers located throughout the city and serves 556 children. We ensure the quality of our programs through continuous improvement and outcome-based practices.
School ReadinessThe program prepares children for kindergarten by providing curriculum in the areas of math, science, technology, literacy, and creative arts. Assessments are conducted to identify children’s developmental needs, and to prepare children for kindergarten. Each classroom is equipped with technology to promote ”21st Century Learning,” and children have opportunities to participate in activities utilizing computers, i-Pads, and smart boards to increase their academic skills. Strong partnerships with families are the key to children’s school readiness and healthy development. Families participate in literacy activities such as the 15-Minute Read and Paso a Paso programs to promote literacy. Children whose parents read to them tend to become better readers and perform better in school. It is our goal to build a lifelong interest in reading through successful partnerships with parents. Program data indicates that there is significant growth in children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills between the fall and spring. They are prepared for kindergarten at the end of the year.
Empowering Parents and Building CommunityParent involvement is important and essential to the success of the program. Parents are empowered to be the decision-makers, and through shared governance, parent committees make program decisions in budget, personnel, policies, and procedures. We provide program services through partnerships and collaboration in physical health, mental health, nutrition, social services, and education to meet the overall needs of children and families and ensure a quality program.