Madison County Head Start 2015 Self-Assessment Report and 2015 Improvement Plan

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1 Madison County Head Start 2015 Self-Assessment Report and 2015 Improvement Plan

2 Madison County Head Start Self-Assessment Policy Madison County Head Start shall conduct a comprehensive Self-Assessment of its Head Start program at least once each program year. The Self-Assessment shall be conducted by program staff, and parents, with the consultation and participation of the Policy Council and, as appropriate, other community members, to evaluate the effectiveness and progress in meeting program goals and objectives and in implementing and complying with federal and state laws and regulations. As one result of conducting the Self-Assessment, Madison County Head Start will establish program goals for improving the school readiness of children participating in its program, including school readiness goals that are aligned with the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework, state early learning standards as appropriate, and requirements and expectations of the schools the children will be attending. Madison County Head Start will utilize the results of the Self-Assessment to assess accomplishments, strengths, and weaknesses of the Head Start program and will use the results to make ongoing improvements for the program. Written program plans will also be updated based on the results of the Self-Assessment and subsequent Improvement Plan. Madison County Head Start will develop and submit to ACF a report containing an improvement plan, approved by the Policy Council and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors, to strengthen areas identified as weaknesses or in need of improvement. Procedure: Madison County Head Start will, on an annual basis, conduct a Self-Assessment using the following guidelines: 1. The Program Director and the Coordinators will prepare for the Self-Assessment by: a.) Setting the time period during which the Self-Assessment will take place; b.) Selecting the Self-Assessment tool that Madison County Head Start will use to conduct its Self-Assessment; c.) Selecting and recruiting qualified participants, including policy group members, parents, representatives from community organizations, and staff from other Head Start agencies, to serve on the various Self-Assessment teams; and d.) Establishing, with the consultation and participation of the Planning Committee, Policy Council and staff, program goals for improving the school readiness of children participating in its Head Start program, including school readiness goals that are aligned with the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework, state early learning standards as appropriate, and requirements and expectations of the schools the children will be attending. 2. Each Self-Assessment team will have a designated team leader.

3 3. The Director will provide an overview of the Self-Assessment at a Planning Committee meeting. Training will be provided to all team members in their respective review area (e.g., child development and health services, family and community partnerships, transportation and facilities, program design and management) by the Team Leaders. Training will include, at a minimum, information on using the Self-Assessment tool and the agency s policy on confidentiality. 4. Teams will complete their designated tasks using the Self-Assessment tool and additional guidance offered by Madison County Head Start. The teams will collect the information through observations, document reviews, and interviews. Teams will record and provide their results together with their team leader. 5. The Planning Committee will synthesize all information gathered, analyze the findings, and the Director will draft a written report of the Self-Assessment results within a reasonable period of time from the completion of the Self-Assessment. The report will be shared with management, the Policy Council and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors. 6. The agency must develop an Improvement Plan to strengthen any areas identified in the Self- Assessment as Areas Needing improvement or Non-Compliance. The report will be submitted to the Policy Council and Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors for their approval and upon such approval will be submitted to the Office of Head Start. The improvement plan will include the following information: Identification of areas needing improvement or area of non-compliance; Specific steps to improve or strengthen identified areas; Responsible person(s); and Timeframe for completion. 7. Madison County Head Start will then implement the approved Improvement Plan. This policy is based on Section 641A(g) of the Head Start Act and Head Start Performance Standard (i)(1). For the 2015 Self-Assessment Madison County Head Start used the 2014 Head Start Monitoring Protocol as their tool to conduct the Self-Assessment. The initial Self-Assessment overview/training was conducted at the January Planning Committee meeting. Teams conducted their Self-Assessments in February, March and April The final Self-Assessment Report along with Improvement Plan will be presented to Policy Council and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors prior to their May meeting. Written Program Plans are updated based on the Self-Assessment and reviewed and approved by Policy Council.

4 Program Strengths Staff Quality of all staff and their dedication to the program Teachers implementation of the Head Start requirements and curriculum Supporting Healthy Families Curriculum Implementation of Incredible Years in the classroom Follow up of Mental Health concerns Meeting the needs of individual children using Teaching Strategies GOLD, DECA, IEP s and screenings Communication with families and between staff Income documentation is maintained and 2 reviewers signatures are required when verifying eligibility Staff strongly support Head Start families in their goal choices Consistency in documentation Strong connections to the community and knowledge of available resources We effectively serve a wide range of families Just You and Me events Offering transportation in a rural county Areas needing improvement included in the Improvement Plan Transportation - Increase number of Bus Driver Substitutes Human Resources - Revise new staff Orientation/ Training Fiscal - Financial Statements shared with Policy Council should include budgeted amounts in the beginning of the program year

5 Self-Assessment Summaries of Content Areas and Management Systems Education and Disabilities Summary Individualization: Areas where the program is working well. Education Plan update as needed Staff/Teachers implementation Parent Involvement Family goals Home visits Questionnaires Summary for Disabilities Services: Areas where the program is working well. We work well with children with disabilities Follow up for referrals and referral process; identifying children with special needs Areas where the program needs improvement: Additional areas of concern: Canal Side classrooms are not easily accessible to wheelchair bound children; they would not be able to use sinks and would only be able to use adult bathrooms; Plan needs a date for when updates are done printed on it (header or footer); Plan needs a glossary of acronyms Staff not invited to CPSE meetings by CPSE chairs; Summary of Results for Curriculum and Assessment: Areas where the program is working well. Literacy letters, reading, sounds, print rich Meet the needs of individual children immediately DECA goals, Incredible Years strategies; language with Incredible Years Consistency Low key, patient, calm teachers; with Combination classes we see close contact with parents. Areas where the program needs improvement: Have more training with Incredible Years, especially for new staff Improve documentation of math skills and math language training. Family and Community Partnership Areas where program is working well: Open communication- can Speak with Coordinators and Co-workers to problem solve Knowledge of Resources Non-Judgmental- Parents choose their own goals Supporting Healthy Families

6 Parent felt supported to connect with Consumer Services, staff was flexible when scheduling HVs and Parent Teacher Conferences. Areas program needs to improve: Continue to build relationships with other agencies- especially where we don t have one. Continue building knowledge and skills using Supporting Healthy Families. Ex: Put together games/ice breakers for parents- keep it from being a lesson ERSEA Areas where program is working well: Collection/Copies of income documentation used included with application Second signature of staff reviewing application and income verification Areas program needs to improve: 1 of the 2 children whose file was reviewed was not correctly documented in CAP60 Corrected immediately There were 2 vacancies not filled within 30 days- 1 due to child care enrollment and the other needed required paperwork completed Corrected Immediately- Specific Staff member was trained on regulations and importance of filling vacancies within 30 days. Child Health & Safety Strengths: The health and safety of the children always come first for the staff and program as a whole. The teachers take pride in making sure the classroom, playground and areas around the classrooms remain child friendly and safe. The staff is kept aware of any policy or procedure changes regarding the health and safety of the children. There is open communication between staff and parents. Area of Improvement: There needs to be a plan put in place to recruit reliable substitutes to fill in when planned or emergency situations occur. The program is always in the need for substitute bus drivers and classroom staff. *The program has reached out to parents regarding their interest in becoming a substitute for the program for both areas. Program Planning Summary: A comprehensive self-assessment is completed each year. The community assessment is completed every 3 years with an update each year in between. A parent questionnaire is also completed each year so all parents have an opportunity to provide input into planning for the program. Community surveys are completed every 3 years to receive input from community members.

7 Data from the child s assessment is used to plan for the individual child and to develop lesson plans for the class. If children are underperforming in an area identified by the children s assessment, teachers use this information to make adjustments to their lesson plans. The program collects, reviews and analyzes program data and uses the results of the program s Community and Self-Assessments to develop goals, objectives and written program plans. The program engages Head Start parents, Policy Council members, staff and governing body members in program planning, The program uses child assessment and CLASS observation data to improve program services on an ongoing basis Ongoing Monitoring Summary: The program uses effective tools and procedures to ensure compliance and meets its goals and objectives. One effective tool is the online database CAP60. An organizational chart shows staff and lines of supervision. Responsibilities follow the traditional components. Job descriptions clearly define staff roles and responsibilities. The program frequently conducts ongoing monitoring activities. Activities include classroom observations, CACFP observations, safety and health checklists, center inspections, file reviews, data review, transportation observations and reports. The program collects and uses data for planning activities and to ensure future compliance. Human Resources Summary: We have an organizational structure that supports our goals and objectives. The program assigns all major program functions and responsibilities to staff.the Head Start Director oversees program management. Child health and safety is overseen by the Health and Wellness coordinator. The family engagement and Mental Health is overseen by the Family Services Mental Health coordinator. The disabilities component is overseen by the Disabilities Coordinator. Early childhood education and development is overseen by the Education Coordinator. The program provides adequate supervision and support to staff Area of Improvement Revision of initial staff orientation/training for all staff. Include supervisors in initial training. Needs Bus Driver Substitutes to ensure time off for Bus Drivers

8 Communication Summary: The program shares accurate and timely information with staff to support outcomes for children and families, including weekly announcements, staff page on the Head Start website, Program Calendar online, Parent Newsletter, Social Media and staff meetings. The program shares accurate and timely information with parents, policy groups, and the general community, including Parent Newsletter, Social Media, Letter and notes home to parents, Policy Council page on the Head Start website. Record Keeping Summary: The program keeps records up to date database reports and information is reviewed on an ongoing basis. The program consistently collects and records data. The program generates reports to inform planning, communication, and ongoing monitoring-director s report with Coordinator Reports, Enrollment and Attendance, CACFP meals and reimbursement, credit card report, Financial Statements The program makes information accessible to appropriate parties The program maintains confidentiality confidential information is secure. Information is only shared with parental permission. Needs Improvement: Financial Statements should include budgeted amounts in the beginning of the program year Program Governance Strengths: Policy Councilis committed to the success of the program and children. has committed member and non-members strives to improve the program. is good at brain storming and not afraid to offer ideas is just that good. Areas of Improvement: If we could, we would like to extend the term limits Mental Health Areas where program is working well:

9 Follow- Up - Kathy felt we do a good job following up with concerns of parents, teachers, and other staff. She felt we refer families and staff needing MH services to appropriate resources. Knowledge of Programs -Lisa felt that we have good knowledge of community resources available to our families. Activities Provided to Families - Terrah felt that Supporting Healthy Families helped with better communication with her child, Parent/Teacher conferences helped her understand child development and any concerns she may have. Terrah has not had MH concerns but she felt that if she did that she could speak to her Teacher or Family Advocate. Areas where the program needs improvement: More parent education Immediate Fix: Parent Talk scheduled on May 1st Kathy and Lisa both felt the county Mental Health system was falling apart, fewer services available, especially for children. The label that families feel when they reach or fail to reach out for assistance. FISCAL SELF ASSESSMENT SUMMARY Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Madison County is an extension of Cornell University. The association with the University offers many program and administrative advantages which include fiscal management support. Cornell University, and by extension, CCE uses ACCPAC accounting software. There is support on campus and a Shared Business Network Finance Lead available for software usage support and complex accounting questions. The software allows Head Start to compile detailed financial information and reports and has allowed for the development of a comprehensive chart of accounts. The chart of accounts is instrumental in tracking administrative costs to ensure we remain under the maximum allowable of 15% and allows us to accurately track all revenue and expenditures as well. Financial procedures make certain that there are segregation of duties within all accounting processes which ensures the fiscal integrity of the program. Financial transactions are reviewed by the Program Director, Bookkeeper, Finance Manager and Associate or Executive Director. Bank statements are reconciled monthly and an independent audit is performed annually. Three different allocation methods are used to most accurately allocate expenditures across the organization. Quarterly and annual reports are bookmarked on several shared calendars to ensure timely completion and submission. The fiscal team has many combined years of education and experience to draw from which gives the organization and in turn the Head Start program the capability to run effectively and efficiently.

10 2015 Improvement Plan Head Start programs must develop an improvement plan to strengthen any areas identified in the Self-Assessment as Weaknesses or Non Compliance or issues determined by the Community Assessment. (identified by an *).The report will be submitted to the Policy Council and Cornell Cooperative Extension Board for their approval and upon such approval will be submitted to the Office of Head Start. The improvement plan will include the following information: Identification of Weakness or Non-Compliance; Specific steps to improve or strengthen identified areas; Responsible person (s); and Timeline for completion. Human Resource Management Areas Needing Improvement: Steps To Improve Identified Areas Responsible Person Timeline Transportation - Increase number of Bus Driver Substitutes Recruit Head Start parents and other prospective employees. Provide bus driver training to vetted individuals ( clean DMV records, excellent references, and motivated to succeed) Individual agrees to drive for Head Start for at least a year. Assist trainees in acquiring their CDL license. Develop plan to increase bus driver s wages Transportation Manager Head Start Director Summer and Fall 2015 January 2016 Human Resources - Revise new staff Orientation/ Training Fiscal Management Team members and Supervisors review and revise orientation and initial training requirements. Update training checklists for orientation and initial training. Provide training for supervisors Implement Training Management Team Supervisors HR Manager Summer 2015 Fall 2015 Fiscal - Financial Statements shared with Policy Council should include budgeted line item amounts in the beginning of the program year ACCPAC accounting software does not include budget amounts until the calendar year is over. Budget amounts for line items should be manually entered on the financial statements before presenting to Policy Council Head Start Director Fiscal Staff September 2015

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