Preparing Children for the Public School System
UMOS provides an engaging and comprehensive program including 22 school readiness goals taught using Creative Curriculum which meets the needs of all children, ages 6 weeks to 6 years, including those with special needs and dual language learners. UMOS promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through education, health, nutrition, and social activities. "School Readiness" is a comprehensive term describing the capabilities of children, their families, schools and communities that best promote student success in kindergarten and the later grades. Each part plays an essential role in the development of school readiness that includes:
- Children — our GOLD teaching strategies are aligned with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and Early Learning Standards for children aged birth to 5 years.
- Families — parents are a child's first and most important teacher who can provide a steady and supportive relationship, ensure a safe and consistent environment, promote good health and self-control, and foster curiosity. Most importantly, parents can become strong advocates and leaders in their child’s education.
- Schools — when schools are ready to receive and be receptive to migrant head start children, they are in a better position to provide seamless transitions to high-quality learning environments, that offer children the opportunities to enhance and build confidence in their skills, knowledge and abilities.
- Communities — a child’s school readiness can be enhanced through various community resources, such as libraries, enriched cultural opportunities, museums and by embracing diversity through community events.
Children enrolled in the program receive developmental screenings and ongoing assessments across all developmental domains that are shared with parents every 30 days. This allows staff to work with families on each child’s individual goal. In addition, center staff and local kindergarten/district staff collaborate to determine the most effective ways to help the child with a successful transition to kindergarten. The table below depicts the progress of our children in the areas of language, literacy, and math.
Wisconsin and Missouri Combined Totals
One important factor that UMOS looked at when evaluating School Readiness was whether there was a difference between seasonal and migrant children. In analyzing the data for language, literacy and math, UMOS found the biggest gap was in math.
Focused on Math
Early childhood math outcomes continue to be a focus of UMOS’ 5-year program goals. UMOS used the Comparative Reports from TS Gold to review child data. Based on this average outcome data for both the Delegate and Grantee sites, UMOS found: A) 93% of new toddlers who attended the program for at least 60 days scored at or above expectations, B) 67% of new preschoolers who attended for 60 days scored at or above age level expectations. UMOS 2016 Program outcome data also illustrated: A) 75% of returning toddlers who attended 60 days scored at or above expectations, B) 81% of returning preschoolers who attended 60 days scored at or above expectations. The data demonstrated that the program met or nearly exceeded our established criteria.
Another desired outcome was for children to demonstrate average math score gains within two or three checkpoint assessments—the following percentages are averages of the Delegate and Grantee sites. First, the 2016 data reflected specific marked increases in the math scores. Specifically, data showed that the new children between the ages of 1-5 that were enrolled through two checkpoints had an overall average increase of four points. Second, the new children between the ages of 1-5 that were enrolled through three checkpoints had an overall average increase of 15 points. A third result showed that returning children between the ages of 1-5 who were enrolled through two checkpoints had an overall average increase of three points. A fourth result showed that returning children between the ages of 1-5 that were enrolled through three checkpoints had an overall average increase of 25 points. Thus, the program nearly met the established criteria and we able to determine the points of focus needed to exceed the goals in the future.
Dual Language Learners
A primary objective for preschool dual language learners is maintain and/or increase their scores in their home language abilities. Children are identified as dual language learners based on a Home Language Survey, which is completed at the time of enrollment.
Receptive language skills increased by an overall average of 1.75 points on the 9-point scale. Expressive language skills increased by an overall average of 1.55 points on the 9-point scale. This was a significant result for dual language learners given the number of new children, and the duration of the season.
UMOS continues to build strong partnerships with Access Family Care in Southwest Missouri, SEMO Health Network in Southeast Missouri and Family Health/La Clinica, in Wisconsin. This collaborative effort has resulted in on-site dental services for the Mt. Vernon and Malden centers in Missouri and health services at almost all the centers in Wisconsin.
Better Health. Better Learning.
UMOS MSHS was awarded a grant by the UCLA/Johnson and Johnson Health Care Institute to implement a program that improves school readiness through educating and improving the health of children, families and staff. Families are trained with health literacy materials tailored to their literacy level, language and culture. Forty-three families were trained on Common Childhood Illness' and given a book titled "What to Do When Your Child Is Sick." The purpose of the topic was to educate parents on how to assess and care for their sick children.
Better Health, Better Student
UMOS is focused on early detection of health problems by carefully addressing the needs of each enrolled child. Health Services consists of ensuring children have current physical exams, dental exams, immunizations, hearing and vision screens, and nutrition assessments, plus a follow-up plan.