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Head Start Rated Highly on Quality

Long Beach Unified School District Head Start earned high marks for excellence recently, based upon a state rating system and independent review.

Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood program established nationally in 1965 to alleviate the effects of poverty on preschool children and their families.  LBUSD offers the program at multiple locations serving hundreds of preschool children, infants and toddlers.

The California State Quality Rating and Improvement System is a shared set of standards that define quality for early learning programs serving children from birth to age five.  The system assesses the quality of the learning environment, rates the program on specific measures like learning activities and teacher-child interactions, and provides a rating of quality on a scale of 1 to 5.

The Oropeza, Plymouth and Job Corps Head Start center received a score of 5, the highest possible rating of “Excellent Quality Level.”  The remainder of LBUSD’s sites earned a 4, or “Advanced Quality Level.”

“We are very proud of our staff,” said LBUSD Head Start Program Director Claudia Sosa-Valderrama.  “These ratings validate the hard work our staff does for children and families every day.”

The review was conducted by independent evaluators Quality Start Los Angeles, the  county’s QRIS administrating agency. The Head Start sites were rated on eight measures: results of child assessments; ensuring that children receive annual developmental, behavioral and sensory screenings; teacher-student ratios; teacher qualifications; effective teacher-child interactions; the physical environment of the program, and the qualifications of the director.