Children who attend free Head Start preschool are given opportunities to learn and to grow socially, emotionally, and physically. They also receive free, healthy meals and snacks, health and dental screenings and enjoy playing and learning in a safe, educational setting. Accommodations are also offered to meet the special needs of children who experience disabilities.
HEAD START MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Our records show that most children coming into our program do not have the developmental skills expected for their age. However, by the end of the year they make tremendous growth and about 90% of our students reach the benchmarks expected for their age in language, literacy, math, social skills and eagerness to learn.
HALF DAY, FULL DAY, AND DURATION CLASSES
Head Start has over 50 free preschool classes throughout communities in Jackson and Josephine counties that meet during the school year.
Most classes are half day, Monday through Thursday (mornings or afternoons).
We also provide full-day, 6-7 hour duration classes at several Southern Oregon locations. Full-day classes are located at:
- Hillside Elementary
- Wilson Elementary
- Patrick Elementary
- Rogue River
- Illinois Valley
- White City
- Alan Berlin
STUDENT AGE & CLASS SIZE
Preschool classrooms may be designed specifically for three-year-old students, four-year-old students, or three and four-years old blends, depending on class locations and current needs.
Our classes typically operate with a maximum of 17-19 students per classroom.
The Head Start program calendar varies depending on whether it is a part-day class or a duration class. Part-day classes generally start in late September and run through early June. Duration classes generally start in early September and run through July, with the month of August off. Some full day programs, located in elementary schools, will follow the school district calendar.
All classes have a two-week winter break and one-week spring break.
NUTRITION & HEALTH SCREENINGS
We believe children need to be physically and emotionally healthy to learn and grow.
Our Food Services Department provides nutritious meals that encourage healthy food choices for students, building the foundation for a balanced and healthful approach toward food. Children learn to take turns and to serve themselves while participating in Family Style Meals.
We provide a variety of screenings to assess for vision, hearing, dental, developmental or mental health needs, to ensure all children are receiving the services they need.
DISABILITIES & SPECIAL NEEDS
Our Family Advocates guide parents through the referral process to access additional services when needed. Children who experience disability or have special needs, including those with intellectual, developmental, physical and/or learning disabilities, are welcome in all programs.