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Philosophy

We know that all children follow a similar path of growing and learning but not every child will do the same things at the same time.  In a caring and positive atmosphere, we create a safe and supportive place for children to learn new skills necessary for success in school and beyond.

A Typical Day at Head Start

Blair County Head Start has adopted the Creative Curriculum to guide the learning experiences provided in the classrooms.  This is a nationally recognized, research-based curriculum for children 3 to 5 years of age.  You and your child’s teacher develop an Individualized Goal Plan (IGP) with specific goals and learning activities for your child to be sure that the learning needs of your child are met.

Your child will be involved with many activities in the classroom.  Each class may have a different activity schedule, but the overall structure is the same.  At some time during the day, the schedule will include all of the following:

  • Welcome
  • Circle Times: used for introduction to the daily schedule, introduction and extension of theme activities, read alouds, songs, language activities, writing experiences, phonological awareness, math awareness, science exploration.
  • Meal
  • Center Time: permits children to learn while actively engaged in intentional play activities
  • Small Group Time: designed to teach and extend specific skills
  • Physical Development- indoor and outdoor

Classroom Management

Head Start staff use a positive behavior management program.  As with any other skill, appropriate behavior is learned and it is the role of the staff to teach your child skills to change disruptive or inappropriate behavior.  Some methods we use are positive reinforcement, redirection, planned ignoring and time out.  Positive methods of discipline are modeled in all Head Start classrooms.  Use of physical and/or verbal abuse of any child, including your own, is not permitted.  If you have any questions, about any classroom issue, please ask your child’s teacher.

Clothing/Shoes

As your child dresses for Head Start:

  • Please send a complete change of clothing (underwear and socks included) in case of an accident.  Clothing should be marked with the child’s name and will be kept in the classroom.  In January, you may want to make an exchange for larger sizes.
  • Dress him/her in durable play clothes.  The children play both inside and outside.
  • Sometimes we do very messy activities so washable clothing is best.
  • Slacks/shorts are suggested for the children so they can play on the floor. 
  • Remember to dress your child according to the weather. Head Start provides outside play experiences when the temperature is below 90 degrees and above 25 degrees, with the wind chill.
  • For safety reasons, all children must wear shoes.  COMFORTABLE SNEAKERS OR OTHER CLOSED TOED SHOES ARE SUGGESTED. Children are not permitted to wear flip flops or shoes with out back straps.
  • Please label your child’s clothing that they wear on a daily basis (i.e. Coat, hat, etc)
  • If boots are worn, please send shoes for classroom activities.
  • Children in a school district classroom must follow the school’s dress code.  Ask your Case Manager if you have questions. 
  • Jewelry-Long earrings or rings with sharp points or edges are prohibited and cause a potential health/safety hazard to your child.

Communication with Your Child's Teacher

Research has shown that families can make a real difference in their child’s academic achievement and success in life by participating in school activities and communicating with school staff.  You can communicate with your child’s teacher through note, phone calls, or email.

Celebrations

We believe the Head Start classroom is a place where every child and adult should feel welcome and included in all planned activities.  Special activities are based on the interests of children and the culture and belief of enrolled families.  In trying to include all children in activity we use the following knowledge to guide our celebrations:

  • It is extremely difficult to give meaning to holidays for very young children since most holiday ideas are beyond their level of understanding
  • It is difficult to be inclusive of all beliefs, religions, and traditions of each family involved with the program given time and resource limitations
  • Most holidays are overdone and commercialized to the extent that the true meaning has been lost
  • Do not send in food or holiday related items for children. Non-food items are acceptable

Contacting Staff in an Emergency

Because the staff in the classroom is working with children, email or phone access is not available during class hours which are listed on the front of the Welcome to Head Start book.  If there is an emergency regarding your child, you may contact your Case Manager or administrative staff in the Main Office 946-5247 at extension 100.

Gift Giving

While it is always nice to acknowledge what someone has done for you, we discourage gift giving that causes an expense for the giver.  We recommend that your kind thoughts be expressed through a note, something hand made by you and your child.