In St. Landry Parish, the school board will take over Head Start education on September 1st.
The district hopes this will improve Head Start education in the parish.
“We’re becoming familiar with the Head Start guidelines,” June Inhern with the school district said. “The performance standards for Head Start are totally different from the school system performance standards.”
In about three weeks, the St. Landry School System will begin overseeing Head Start programs in the parish thanks to a nearly $7 million dollar federal grant.
Officials say some 4-year-olds may qualify for both Head Start and pre-k programs, which could allow the district to put those programs at the same facilities.
“Those 4-year-olds we would like to bring to our schools,” Inhern said. ” We’re looking at our school sites to see if we have enough room for those 4-year-olds and where we might put those children, should we move the classrooms into new locations. We’re looking at all those types of things.
Right now, the district is looking for certified teachers to work with the Head Start program.
“What we did recently is have the board approve our job descriptions,” Superintendent Patrick Jenkins said. “We’re going to be having a job fair really soon. August 18th at Opelousas High School.”
Once those teachers are in place, district leaders hope they’ll prepare the students for their future education.
“From infants up to age 3 is probably the most critical years in a child’s life,” Jenkins said. “They do most of their formative learning at those ages. We want to provide a quality education in those formative years. “