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CCSD 89 opens Head Start preschool class to serve low-income students

Community Consolidated School District 89 is partnering with the federal Head Start program to offer a new preschool program designed to close the learning gaps for students from low-income families. CCSD 89 will open the Head Start preschool classroom at Arbor View Elementary School in the 2018-19 school year.

The preschool classroom is open to 3- to 5-year-old students who qualify. In general, students in the free Head Start program are children who have an identified educational need, but cannot pay for the district’s typically developing preschool program.

“We know this is a need for our community and we have been unable to provide preschool for these at-risk learners in our fee-based program,” said CCSD 89 Superintendent Dr. Emily K. Tammaru. “There is consistently strong research showing that early intervention has a significant impact on students from poverty. When the learning and opportunity gaps are reduced, the students’ cognitive and social skills increase, leading to long-term success in school and beyond.”

The latest state report cards indicate nearly 20 percent of CCSD 89 students come from low-income homes, meaning they are eligible to receive reduced-price lunches, live in substitute care, or receive public aid.

CCSD 89 will be able to host the Head Start program at a minimal cost to the district. The program is funded by the federal government through grants awarded to community agencies. For CCSD 89, the program will be run through Metropolitan Family Services DuPage.

The only costs to CCSD 89 are in-kind donations of classroom space and cleaning services. All other aspects of the program - including staff, materials, food, transportation, and professional development - are covered by Head Start.

To find out more about the CCSD 89 Head Start preschool program, call (630) 784-4801.