A study by Rice University released Wednesday has found that the Houston Independent School District’s pre-K program significantly increases preparedness for kindergarten after as little as one year compared to students who do not attend pre-K.
The study, conducted by a postdoctoral fellow at the university, cites English and Spanish assessment scores from kindergarten students after one and two years of pre-K.
The study found that English-assessment test takers who attended one year of HISD pre-K had 2.8 times greater odds of being ready for kindergarten than a student who attended zero years of HISD pre-K. Students who attended two years of HISD pre-K had 3.8 times greater odds of being school-ready than those who attended zero years of HISD pre-K, and 1.4 greater odds of being school-ready than those who attend one year of HISD pre-K.
New resources and training part of $9 million state grant
HISD Pre-K teachers recently gathered to learn new strategies, share best practices, and discover a new districtwide resource they can use to support the home-school connection.
Over 600 teachers from across the district attended HISD’s Prekindergarten Saturday Summit on Oct. 8. The half day of training and professional development was kicked off by HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza, who told the crowd that he prefers to address them as “early educators.”
The Texas Education Agency on Tuesday awarded the Houston Independent School District a $9.2 million grant to enhance its early childhood education program.
HISD is among 578 school systems across Texas to be awarded a grant as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s high-quality prekindergarten initiative. The $116 million grant program allows districts and charters to receive funding for qualifying pre-K students in addition to the half-day Foundation School Program funding that is already received for each eligible pre-K student. To receive the grant funding, a district or charter must meet certain enhanced quality standards related to curriculum, teacher qualifications, academic performance, and family engagement.
In honor of Laurenzo Early Childhood Center becoming a dual-language school this year, the faculty adopted an international theme for their annual expo. Every class chose a different country to study for eight weeks, and their project-based lesson plans included students’ asking questions, engaging in investigations, and making discoveries.
The week of April 10-16 is the Week of the Young Child, an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to put a public spotlight on the needs of young children and address those needs through early childhood programs and services.
HIPPY is a school readiness program for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children that helps parents prepare their preschoolers for academic success. Instructors visit parents in their homes for an hour a week over a 30-week period during the school year, and model research-based learning activities designed to help Pre-K children develop skills in reading, math, and science. Parents then practice the activities with their children over the week until they learn a new activity during the next lesson. Children whose parents participate in the program consistently outperform their peers in reading and math in kindergarten and first grade.
The Houston Independent School District this week will begin offering in-home lessons to hundreds of new families from across the district in an effort to help parents better prepare their children for preschool.
The lessons are part of the district’s Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters — or HIPPY program. As part of the program, HIPPY home instructors models simple educational activities for parents to practice with their 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds.
The one-hour, weekly lessons span 30 weeks and cover early literacy skills, mathematics, science, fine and gross motor skills, and language development. Research shows that HISD kindergarten students whose parents have participated in the HIPPY program significantly outperform their peers in reading and math. Continue reading →
As fall approaches, the Family and Community Engagement Department is busy recruiting 15 part-time home instructors to work with the HIPPY program for the 2015–2016 school year. The program was recently awarded a $6.5 million grant from the Health and Human Services Texas Home Visiting program to expand to schools across the district, serving almost 1,400 families.
Home instructors play a vital role in delivering the program. Over 30 weeks, home instructors visit the parents of preschool-aged children, delivering research-based curriculum in reading, math, and science to ensure students are ready to start kindergarten and succeed in school. We spoke with Veronica Herrera, a former HIPPY parent turned home instructor, to find out more about the job. Continue reading →