Danbury ‘School Readiness’ program receives new accreditation

Danbury ‘School Readiness’ program receives new accreditation
Posted on 10/23/2017

By encouraging positive relationships between children and their teachers and providing an environment that encourages and support learning with curriculum goals, the Danbury Public Schools Readiness Program has received a new, five-year term national accreditation.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children bases the accreditation on a documentation that ultimately show that the program meets the 10 criteria outlined in the program. The DPS Readiness Program is located at 10 Cottage Street and is run by Director Ingrid Norfleet. For the past several years, the program has operated as one program; prior to 2013 two programs were at Morris Street School and a third at Mill Ridge Primary.

“Parents hear that the center does so much for the teachers, the kids, the parents and that their children are well-prepared for school,” Norfleet said.

The program currently has three classroom with five teachers and four teaching assistants who instruct 56 three- to five-year-olds between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Family contributions are based on a sliding scale.

Norfleet said putting together the portfolio of 140 documentations is an ongoing task that she never lets up on. The criteria must be met with documentation including surveys from parents, photographs and other information.

The criteria are: relationships, curriculum, teaching, assessment of child progress, health, teachers, families, community relationships, physical environment, and leadership and management. The Danbury program received a nearly perfect score in nine criteria; an 81 was the lowest score for curriculum because the program requires more science and social studies.

To improve that score, the program will focus more on professional development, hold science presentations for parents, include “I am moving” physical activities, and plant a community garden.

“This is a step above licensing and requires that the staff document the work they do, photograph it and record it,” Dr. Anne Mead, administrator for Early Childhood Education and Extending Learning Programs said. “It’s the stamp of approval for programs.”

“The program helps students get more involved in the classroom,” Norfleet said. “The school is a small community. They have to get involved in the teacher-student relationship. These criteria help us see where the needs are. It’s a great process and we make a big effort to get parents involved. You go above and beyond. You want to show everyone you are involved.”

#Danbury Board of Education#