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Mel Gravely

Round 2 for Head Start Recompetition

Round 2 for Head Start RecompetitionLast week, the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) announced the second group of Head Start programs that will be required to recompete for funding as part of the Designation Renewal System. In total, 122 agencies have been notified.

In this round, the Office of Head Start (OHS) used the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) to help monitor programs. A blog post from OHS Director, Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, briefly explains what CLASS is and how it is designed to “assess the quality of teacher-child interactions in center-based preschool classrooms.”

CLASS evaluates three domains of interaction:

• Emotional Support assesses the degree to which teachers establish a positive climate in their classroom through their everyday interactions.
• Classroom Organization assesses classroom routines and procedures related to the management of children’s behavior, time, and attention in the classroom.
• Instructional Support assesses the ways in which teachers implement the curriculum to promote cognitive and language development.

Agencies that scored in the lowest 10 percent for any domain of all Head Start programs OR that failed to reach the minimum score threshold for any domain are required to compete.

As I mentioned in my 2012 Year in Review, these are very uncertain times for Head Start. Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director of the National Head Start Association, talks about that uncertainty in an email to agencies: “[The Head Start] community, already stressed by the uncertainties of the fiscal cliff and possible sequestration cuts, is likely to be further shaken by this news.”

Stay tuned to The Gravely Group blog as we continue to post new updates on Designation Renewal.

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