Nov 01, 2018

Honor Roll Recognizes Sites for Overall Excellence, Superior Infant and Toddler Care, Growth

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Department of Education today announced nearly 300 early childhood education programs have earned a spot on the state's "Honor Roll" as a result of high performance in 2017-2018. The announcement comes a week before the state will release annual early childhood performance profiles and K-12 school report cards in the Louisiana School and Center Finder.

"Louisiana took a great step forward when it began publicly reporting the performance of early childhood centers alongside their counterparts in K-12 systems," said State Superintendent John White. "The Honor Roll released today complements that effort by recognizing and rewarding the sites that achieved remarkable success this past year. We applaud these sites for providing families, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged, with access to high quality care and for acting as models for excellence and growth."

"These are standout centers that really highlight the work being done throughout Louisiana. We are caring for our earliest learners in safe, emotionally supportive and educational environments, and because of that, our entire educational spectrum will benefit," said Tony Davis, who represents District 4 on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. "Our state is being well served by its investment in early childhood education, and I hope we can continue to raise funding to expand these kinds of gains."

The Honor Roll recognizes early childhood programs, including early childhood centers, Head Start and pre-kindergarten, in three categories:
  • Excellence: Sites on this list achieved a rating of "Excellent," the highest possible rating, on the annual performance evaluation. The evaluation tool that informs the rating is used nationally and internationally, meaning the sites on this list are among the best in the world.
  • Birth to Three: Sites on this list provided high quality instruction and care to the state's youngest learners, children birth through age three. This is significant because Louisiana serves far fewer economically disadvantaged children birth through age three, and early childhood sites typically score lower in performance categories related to these age groups.
  • Top Gains: Sites on this list significantly improved their performance from one year to the next.
Overall, 299 sites made the Honor Roll for 2017-2018, up from 220 sites the previous year. Of that total, 90 were recognized in the "Excellence" category, 153 were recognized in the "Birth to Three" category, and 56 were recognized in the "Top Gains" category.  View all Honor Roll results.

Some sites are listed in more than one category of the Honor Roll. Treasures from Heaven Child Care and Learning Center in Baton Rouge, for example, is on both the "Excellence" and "Birth to Three" lists and has achieved an "Excellent" rating overall for the last two years.

"Our staff has a deep understanding of what makes a high-quality early learning environment, according to the CLASS™ tool used to measure performance, and we integrate those strategies, along with top-tier curriculum, into our daily lessons. I strongly feel this is why we were able to maintain an Excellent rating for two consecutive years," said Director Sherrel Pointer. "Excellent early childhood education is important for all children. Research has proven that the effectiveness of high quality teacher-child interactions have a positive impact on children's cognitive development, with the effects lasting through third grade."

Sites on the Honor Roll span 46 early childhood education networks, many of which oversee multiple sites on each list. The New Orleans Early Education Network (NOEEN), for example, oversees 29 sites that have made it on to one or more of the lists. The network is among the most improved in the state.

"For the first time in our network's history, nearly 20 percent of the sites in our network are receiving honors. This improvement is directly correlated to the efforts of our providers who are working tirelessly to improve learning and care for children in Orleans Parish," said NOEEN Executive Director Jennifer Roberts. "NOEEN and our partners are eager to continue our improvement this year and to continue our efforts to ensure that every child and family in Orleans Parish has an equitable opportunity to attend a high-quality early learning environment of their choosing."

Each site on the Honor Roll will receive a special badge on their performance profiles in the Louisiana School and Center Finder to signify the accomplishment, as well as a state certificate to display on-site.

The Honor Roll, now in its second year, accompanies the annual release of performance ratings. As of last year, all publicly funded early childhood education sites in Louisiana now receive an annual performance rating from the state. The overall performance ratings are based on classroom observations of the interactions between teachers and children, and are reported in four categories: Excellent, Proficient, Approaching Proficient and Unsatisfactory. These ratings appear in an interactive, online performance profile that also displays information about the level of training teachers have and the quality of materials used in each classroom.

The 2017-2018 early childhood performance profiles and K-12 school report cards will be released on Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Louisiana School and Center Finder.

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