Covington Early Childhood Student Success Network

Covington Early Childhood Student Success Network (SSN) was formed more than 2½ years ago and received a Strive Stage 2 Endorsement in May 2008. Its three high quality partners are

Children Inc., Covington Independent Public Schools (CIPS) and Head Start. The SSN has aligned efforts with the district’s focus on literacy, knowing that school success starts with reading. Through Success By 6 Winning Beginnings, literacy coaches were provided to CIPS preschools during the 2008-2009 school year.

Continuous improvement planning showed that more than 30 percent of Covington children are not served by high quality partner programs. Local evidence indicated that 53 percent of students who were assessed on kindergarten entry had attended a CIPS preschool and 83 percent of these students were prepared for kindergarten. Of the students who did not attend a CIPS preschool, only 57 percent were prepared. Overall, CIPS students scored higher on most assessments when compared to children from partner programs and elsewhere in the community. From the data, the SSN could assume that a contributing factor to higher scores was the positive impact of literacy coaches in CIPS preschools.

For long-term success, the SSN identified the need to reach out to children who were not served by high quality partner programs. That is, we saw the need to be innovative in the use of resources and to begin building relationships with five community childcare centers that feed into CIPS.

The SSN used progress data to outline new short-term goals, including continuing to make steady gains in the public preschools and redesigning the role and the scope of the literacy coaches.

We spread support through the community – reaching out to partner programs and community childcare centers. Coaches are modeling best practices in instruction, providing feedback on classroom literacy environment and helping to build capacity. They are providing much needed tools, materials and training to community childcare centers using data derived from the Early

Literacy Language Classroom Observation (ELLCO). The two literacy coaches, hired through CIPS, are in the process of becoming state credentialed, so that training they provide can count toward licensing hours required by the state for community childcare centers.