Alta Head Start Education Program
The focus of Alta Head Start’s Education Program is on your child’s individual needs —incorporating family, community, ethnic and cultural characteristics. To help meet these needs, we have adopted the Creative Curriculum, which provides a framework that allows teachers to be creative and flexible in building a program based on their students’ interests and strengths.
Head Start/Early Head Start classrooms
We do this by organizing Head Start/Early Head Start classrooms into interest areas — such as library, blocks, computer, discovery, toys and games, and dramatic play. We believe children learn best through play and hands-on activities. The curriculum is aligned with Ohio’s Early Learning Standards and the Head Start Framework, ensuring children receive a quality education and are school ready.
We welcome special guest speakers and plan various field trips throughout the school year to extend the children’s learning. You will be kept informed and involved in your child’s education via newsletters and monthly calendars that are sent home regularly. And you’re encouraged to volunteer in your child’s classroom. We have an open-door policy; families are always welcome to visit.
Each Alta Head Start classroom is staffed with a teacher who has a degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field and an Assistant Teacher who has a Child Development Associates (CDA). Each Alta Early Head Start classroom has two teachers who have either an Early Childhood degree or a Child Development Associates (CDA).
We offer a Home-Based program for children six weeks to three years old. A Home Educator completes weekly home visits lasting 1½ hours with you and your child, with the emphasis on parents as their child’s educator. Another program available is the Pregnant Moms Program. A Home Educator visits the home, may attend doctor’s appointments, and can provide information about various pregnancy topics. Alta Head Start Home Educators have a degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field.
The Center-Based staff also complete two Home Visits per year. The children receive a developmental screening known as the Brigance. This tool assists the teacher in finding the child’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of cognitive, language, motor skills, social emotional skills and self- help skills.
Assessing your child’s progress
Your child’s progress is tracked by an online assessment system known as Teaching Strategies Gold. You can have access to your child’s records by providing an email address to the teacher. The system tracks children’s progress in areas such as math, social emotional skills, cognitive skills, language, literacy and physical development.
Our Head Start/Early Head Start Centers
We have ten centers located throughout Mahoning County. All are licensed by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. We participate in the state’s Star Rating System. Eight of our centers are rated Five-Star. We are in partnership with the Mahoning County Educational Service Center and Youngstown City Schools. We have our teachers co-teaching with their staff at their facilities.