An independent review of the Long Beach Unified School District’s Head Start program for preschoolers, toddlers, infants and pregnant women showed compliance with about 1,900 federal performance standards, maintaining the program’s status as a national model.
The recent review included an inspection of documentation, along with interviews and first-hand observations.
The federal monitoring team’s final report included numerous accolades. Long Beach Head Start earned praise for its family and community partnerships, strong and multiple collaborations with the city’s Health Department, and an innovative approach to engaging parents through a Family Partnership Agreement.
“You have an extremely large program with a lot of t’s to cross,” one reviewer commented, “and we are proud of the exceptional job that your program has once again done.”
Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood program established nationally in 1965 to alleviate the effects of poverty on preschool children and their families. Long Beach Head Start serves about 2,100 students at 23 sites.
The Long Beach program has earned a reputation as a national leader by repeatedly earning high marks on federal reviews. One of Head Start’s teachers, Rosa Hernandez, was named in 2007 among America’s top five family literacy teachers by the National Center for Family Literacy.
The California Head Start Association also has recognized the local program, naming Long Beach Head Start Director Linda James Perry Administrator of the Year in 2007, and selecting Long Beach for the association’s 2010 Annual Educators' Conference at the Long Beach Renaissance Hotel from Feb. 1 to 5.