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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Head Start to highlight program success in D.C.

  • McPherson/Marion County Head Start will be one of several locations representing its innovative early learning program in Washington, D.C., next week.
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  • McPherson/Marion County Head Start will be one of several locations representing its innovative early learning program in Washington, D.C., next week.
    During a regular McPherson USD 418 board meeting, Penny Stoss, director of McPherson/Marion County Head Start, said she will join other Kansas programs to present the success of their Early Learning Communities at the National Head Start Association Conference. Representatives also will attend from Liberal and Topeka.
    Rather than separating Head Start, Special Education and At Risk programs like in most school systems, Early Learning Communities integrate them together with neighborhood schools.
    McPherson was one of the first locations in Kansas to begin an Early Learning Community in 2010, as part of the district's Citizenship, College and Career initiative. Stoss and other presenters will speak to educators throughout the country to communicate the success seen in Kansas.
    “We will share with other Head Start programs that collaborating doesn’t have to be a scary thing,” she said. “Combining resources is what’s best for children, and it saves everybody time and money in the long run.”
    One of the fears other districts face is compliance with regulations. However, the McPherson/Marion County Head Start recently went through a federal review and passed.
    “I think we need to strengthen early childhood programming across the nation,” Stoss said. “I think our families need that support. If we are involved early, we can make sure the needs of the whole child (emotional, social, physical) are met.”
    In other news:
    - The board approved a request from Gordon Mohn, director of McPherson County Special Education Cooperative, to seek applicants for an autism specialist and a paraeducator facilitator. Mohn said these additions would lead to reducing the number of paraeducators by 10, thereby saving the district about $40,000.
    - The board passed three resolutions for the recent $13.25 million bond issue, including the authorization to begin the process of selling the general obligation bonds.
    - The board approved a request by Sheldon Anderson, director of operations, to go for bids on roofing at McPherson High School and Washington Elementary School, as part of the recent $13.25 million bond issue.
    - Gentry Nixon of McPherson High School announced the school's service day, Big Event, was rescheduled to May 1.
    Contact Jenae Pauls at jpauls@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel

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