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Head Start
Head Start Makes A Difference

Head Start prepares children and their families for success in school and throughout life.

By participating in Southern Oregon Head Start and Early Head Start children are more likely to enter school healthy, ready to learn, and with age-appropriate skills. We support family well-being and nurturing relationships between children and parents and encourage lifelong learning for both children and parents.

Our data shows that the majority of children coming into our program do not have the skills expected for their age. However, by the end of the year they make tremendous growth and about 90% have the skills expected for their age. See the charts on this page for results of children at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year in literacy, cognition, and math.


Head Start has 54 preschool classes throughout communities in Jackson and Josephine County that meet from mid-September through early June. Most classes are half day classes, mornings or afternoons, on Monday through Thursdays. Thirteen classes are designated for primarily three year olds and have 17 children per class.  Other classes have primarily four year olds or have both three and four year old children and have 17-20 children per class.

Four classes meet for 6-7 hours, Monday through Thursdays. These classes are at Ashland, Hillside Elementary in Eagle Point, Sams Valley, and Rogue River.

There is a two week winter break and one week spring break.IMG_8308  For details of class days, see the Head Start calendar.

For a complete list of Head Start centers see the Locations tab.


Health, Nutrition, Disabilities and Mental Health

Children need to be physically and emotionally healthy to learn and grow. Head Start works with parents to help each child be up-to-date on their medical care. We also provide a variety of screenings to see if children have vision, hearing, dental, developmental or mental health needs. We serve children nutritious meals at school to encourage healthy food choices.


2013 Goals – Preparing Children for School


90% OF ALL CHILDREN ENTERING Kindergarten will perform within the Widely Held Expectations in the Five Essential Domains assessed.  Additional focus will be provided as follows:


Children will achieve higher skills in the ability to coordinate complex movements in play and games.

  • Runs smoothly and quickly, changes directions, stops, and starts quickly)
  • Steers wheelchair into small playground spaces
  • Gallops and skips with ease
  • Uses three-point finger grip and efficient hand placement when writing and drawing


Children will be able to participate cooperatively and constructively in group situations.

  • Manages classroom rules, routines, and ad transitions with occasional reminders.
  • Controls strong emotions in an appropriate manner most of the time.


Children will be able to sustain attention to tasks.  They are able to ignore distractions and interruptions

  • Shows eagerness to learn about a variety of topics and ideas
  • Draws on everyday experiences and applies this knowledge to a similar situation.
  • Sustains work on age-appropriate interesting tasks – can ignore most distractions.


Children will follow directions of two or more steps that relate to familiar objects and experiences

  • Can successfully complete a transition that includes wash your hands, get your coat, and go to the door.
  • Describes and tells the use of many familiar objects.
  • Children will recognize as many as ten letters, especially those in their name
  • Decides whether two words rhyme
  • Groups objects or pictures that begin with the same sound


  • Children can draw on everyday experiences and apply this knowledge to similar situation
  • Tells about experiences in order, provides details
  • Places objects in two or more groups based on differences in a single attribute; color, shape, size.


  • Identifies numerals to 10 by name and connects each to a counted object.
  • Extends and creates simple repeating patterns.