Head Start begins Sept. 1

August 07, 2020

Kids Central Inc. aims to begin its Head Start and Early Head Start program year Sept. 1, with students enrolling virtually, according to a Wednesday letter sent to parents and staff.

The programs are being tailored “to keep the safety of our students and parents at the forefront of every decision that has been made,” Executive Director C. Darrell Edwards wrote.

The year will begin with Phase 1, he explained, when all students will remain in virtual services for about six weeks “as Kids Central reviews internal and community data.”

At the end of six weeks, if conditions for face-to-face learning are favorable, the program will move into Phase 2. Initially, four to five children will receive face-to-face services, Edwards wrote, “while also having a small number receiving virtual services and remaining on a ‘waiting list’ to transition into face-to-face services.”

The transition will depend on data from the community, staff and families, he explained. For example, increased community spread or an excessive number of staff quarantined “may prevent further enrollment or cause a move into complete virtual services,” while a decrease may allow additional transitions.

An overall program assessment could be done every six to nine weeks on whether to add more children in classrooms, keep levels the same or return to all-virtual learning, Edwards wrote.

Also, assessments will be done as needed according to any Virginia policy changes on COVID-19 safety measures.

Kids Central staff will return to work Aug. 17, according to Edwards. From then until Sept. 1, staff will take part in training, development of virtual programs and other preparations.