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ESSA Early Learning Coordination

To help young children transition to pre-K and kindergarten, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires local education agencies (LEAs) receiving Title I funding to sign a written agreement coordinating with Head Start and other early learning programs on students’ transition to the LEA in pre-K or kindergarten. Domains of coordination include:

  • Joint Professional Development and Technical Assistance
  • Coordinating Services and Communication
  • Family Engagement
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Data and Records Sharing (including securely transferring students’ early childhood records to the LEA, with parental consent)
  • English learners

To support LEAs in meeting the ESSA requirements, OSSE has hosted a working group in collaboration with the DC Head Start Association, DC Public Charter School Board, FOCUS DC, DC Association for the Education of Young Children, US Department of Education’s Regional Education Laboratory, and interested LEAs. Participants have shared best practices and ideas on how to improve coordination with Head Start and other early learning programs to support smooth and effective transitions for our youngest students.

LEAs applying for Title I funds and serving pre-K or kindergarten were required to submit a signed MOA with Head Start agencies as part of their Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) consolidated application Phase II, due Sept. 30. The agreement renews through 2023, so only Title LEAs newly serving pre-K or kindergarten need sign on. LEAs are welcome to sign the citywide MOA or sign individual MOAs with all DC Head Start agencies sending students to their LEA.

Note the following options LEAs may use to help meet the ESSA coordination requirement:

  • Option 1: Sign onto the citywide MOA developed by the DC Early Learning Coordination Working Group, which includes responsibilities of LEAs, Head Start Agencies, and OSSE.
  • Option 2: Adapt the template to fit your LEA’s needs, and obtain the signatures of all DC Head Start agencies on your adapted version. Note that Option 2 includes “Attachment A,” detailing OSSE’s commitments that will not change if you use this option.
  • Option 3: Develop your own separate MOA(s), either individually or together, with all DC Head Start agencies that could transition their students to the LEA.

MOA Attachments

All Head Start agencies and 32 Title I LEAs serving pre-K or kindergarten have signed onto the Option 1 Statewide ESSA Early Learning MOA [List of MOA signatories]

Update: LEA staff serving pre-K 3-age 8 may now sign up for joint professional development through the OSSE Division of Early Learning online Professional Development Information System (PDIS). Visit dcpdis.org to view the course calendar and sign up for training. LEA and early childhood program staff may earn professional learning units (PLUs) if applicable.
Please review the PDIS Getting Started Guide for more information. For questions or if you need assistance with PDIS, please contact the OSSE Early Childhood Education Help Desk at (202) 478-5903 or [email protected].

Update: OSSE is providing aggregate data on feeder patterns showing how many enrolled students in the 2018-19 school year came from each early childhood program the previous school year.

Early Childhood Points of Contact for Prospective Students and Ongoing Coordination

OSSE is sharing with all LEAs the points of contact for all DC Head Start agencies who may be interested in learning more about your LEA or helping families enroll. To access this contact database, login to Qlik with your Statewide Longitudinal Education Data (SLED) system credential. Within Qlik, view the 2018-19 school year Entity Management application to see the Head Start Agencies sheet. For more information on the Qlik system and how to obtain credentials for you or your staff, please contact your LEA’s assigned OSSE Data, Assessment and Research liaison.

To view a map with the location and contact information for Head Start grantees’ many individual centers, visit the federal Head Start Center Locator. For all licensed child care centers in DC, visit OSSE’s My Child Care DC directory. OSSE is also sharing with HSAs all LEAs’ points of contacts in the eSchoolPLUS database. Head Start agencies may reach out first to your LEA’s Early Childhood Transition Point of Contact to learn more about your LEA for the lottery, as well as other coordination activities year-round. For instructions on how to update your Early Childhood Transition Point of Contact and all other contacts in eSchoolPLUS, view OSSE’s guide or contact your LEA data manager.

Key Resources

A goal of the ESSA Early Learning Working Group was to draft a model citywide MOA that outlines how LEAs will work with Head Start and other early childhood programs. The Working Group is providing a model citywide MOA to ease the challenges of coordinating with the Head Start providers. The following are the records of the Working Group’s work to establish the early learning learning coordination.

Meeting Dates and Presentation Materials

For more information or questions, please contact Bonnie Bacon at [email protected].