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, U.S. 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.
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. 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. The Working Group is providing a model citywide MOA to ease the challenges of coordinating with the Head Start providers. 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.
- Option 1: Statewide ESSA Early Learning MOA
- Summary of LEA Commitments, Timeline, and OSSE Support for Statewide MOA (new)
- Summary of Head Start program Commitments, Timeline, and OSSE Support for Statewide MOA (new)
- Option 2: Customizable Template MOA_LEA-Head Start_ESSA Early Learning Coordination
- Option 2: Attachment A – OSSE Commitments for Customizable MOA_ESSA Early Learning Coordination
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.
- Letter sent to each LEA and HSA explaining how to interpret the data
- Citywide spreadsheet with all feeder patterns
Reminder: 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.
- [New] My School DC Lottery Resources for Head Start and Early Childhood Programs: Train-the-trainer presentation for early childhood staff and application instructional guide
- Early Childhood Coordination Requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) A Toolkit for State and Local Educational Agencies, Head Start Programs, and the Early Childhood Field (National Head Start Association/ Council of Chief State School Officers)
- Early Learning in the Every Student Succeeds Act: Non-Regulatory Guidance (US Department of Education)
- ESSA and Head Start Act Statute – Excerpts with Coordination Requirements [updated]
Meeting Dates and Presentation Materials
- Consolidated Application Webinar: ESSA Early Childhood Requirements (May 22 and Aug. 7, 2019) [Register] [view presentation]
- LEA-DC Head Start Association Coordination Meeting, hosted by Friendship PCS (Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 2-4 p.m.) [Register] [view presentation]
- ESSA Early Childhood Coordination Requirements and Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five (Oct. 26 and 29, 2018) [view presentation]
- MOA Complete Draft Review and Feedback: All LEAs (May 14, 2018, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.) [view presentation]
- Data Presentation (April 17, 2018)
- English Learners (March 22, 2018)
- Curriculum and Instruction (Feb. 15, 2018)
- Family Engagement (Jan. 9, 2018)
- Coordinating Services/ Communication (Dec. 12, 2017)
- Professional Development/ Working Group Intro (Nov. 16, 2017)
For additional questions, please contact Jonathan Elkin, Special Assistant in the Division of K-12 Systems and Supports, at [email protected] or Margareth Legaspi, Head Start State Collaboration Director in the Division of Early Learning, at [email protected].