Newport Early Childhood Student Success Network

Newport Early Childhood Student Success Network (SSN) was formed more than five years ago and received a Stage 2 Endorsement from Strive in 2007. The four high quality partner programs in this collaboration are Brighton Center, Children Inc., Head Start and Newport Public Schools (NPS).

Since its inception, the SSN has been a leader in preparing children for school through innovation, collaboration and using data to drive decision making. We use the Northern Kentucky University Early Childhood Database to capture data on children birth to five served by partner programs. The team then is able to use data to focus efforts and identify children by the age of 3 who are “behind” and wrap services around the most at-risk through “The Inner Circle,” a quarterly gathering for practitioners working to improve student achievement.

Local data generated through continuous improvement shows that children who attend Newport’s preschool, Head Start, Brighton Center or Children Inc. programs are much more likely to arrive at kindergarten scoring above the 50 percentile of kindergarten students nationwide. Almost 65 percent of the graduates of these programs scored above the 50 percent nationally. Kindergarten students who spent two years in these programs scored better than 88 percent of all five year olds nationally.

On the ground working with these children and families are the educators, social workers and home visitors known as the Inner Circle. This innovative approach gives those working directly with children the opportunity to share information, resources and best practices. It’s a needed opportunity to review, analyze and plan to help guide instruction. This effort works collectively and with open communication to intervene early with needed services and not wait until children register for kindergarten to know whether or not they are prepared.