The Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative Head Start Program provides educational services which help children develop socially, intellectually, physically and emotionally in a manner appropriate to their age and stage of development. We believe that children learn best through play, through hands-on experiences, and by feeling good about themselves and others. Each child’s needs are looked at and activities are planned that will meet their needs. Parents, including grandparents or foster parents, are recognized as the child’s first and most influential teacher.
School Readiness Goals
OVEC is committed to providing quality education services to the children and families it serves. This commitment includes establishing a foundation for children from as early as six weeks and up to age 5 that focuses on skills needed to be successful when entering school age programs, also known as School readiness Goals.
OVEC’s learning environments are well-organized, nurturing spaces that support the development of all Head Start and Early Head Start children. Our classrooms offer developmentally appropriate schedules, lesson plans, and indoor and outdoor chances for choice, play, exploration, and experimentation. We include home cultures and are flexible to support the changing ages, interests, and developmental needs of our children over time.
Curriculum and Assessment
The Creative Curriculum is the foundation for educational services in our program.The Creative Curriculum promotes learning through play and encourages children to experiment, explore, and pursue their own interests. In addition, OVEC uses The Child Protection Unit Curriculum in Head Start classrooms to teach children how to keep themselves and others safe.
OVEC’s teaching staff implement the curriculum in the classroom daily through large group, small group, and individualized instruction, and document child progress through our assessment system, Teaching Strategies GOLD. This progress is shared with parents during Home Visits and Conferences and is used to set learning goals.
Every OVEC child is screened using the Brigance or DIAL-4 screening assessment within the first 45 days of enrollment. The screening process helps to identify children who may require interventions. Intervention goals are determined by the skills the child showed difficulty completing during the developmental screening. After interventions are completed, data is reviewed by OVEC’s Disabilities Consultants to determine if the child needs a referral for a special education evaluation. If so, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) will be developed for Early Head Start children and an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be developed for Head Start children.
Mental Health and Behavioral Services
A Classroom Mental Health Observation is completed in every classroom within the first 45 days of the program year. If teaching staff or parents have a behavior or mental health concern for a child, an Individual Mental Health observation is completed with parent permission. If concerns are noted on either observation, OVEC’s Behavior Intervention Specialists work with the teacher and parent to develop, implement, and monitor a Behavior Support Plan. In addition, parents may be referred to outside Behavior or Mental Health services.
In addition, OVEC implements the Conscious Discipline model in all of our classrooms. Conscious Discipline is a comprehensive self-regulation program that integrates social-emotional learning, school culture, and discipline. It helps children foster relationships and helps teachers build classroom communities based on safety, connection, and problem solving.