Early starts, long-term results. Ample national research shows the value of early childhood education. However, in the Show Me State, we wanted the results emerging right here in SLPS. This spring, SLPS Foundation worked with SLPS to complete a longitudinal study which tracked cohorts of SLPS PreK grads (those starting PreK in 2010 and beyond) from 2nd – 9th grade. Every class of SLPS PreK grads (from 2010 – 2016), at every grade level (grades 2 – 9) has achieved a significantly stronger (on average 15% higher) score on reading assessments than the cohort of students who didn’t participate in SLPS PreK. “This is homegrown data that clearly shows the effectiveness of investing in quality early childhood education,” noted SLPS Foundation President Jane Donahue. This past year, SLPS offered in-person early childhood education, with a range of adaptions to be COVID conscious, to more than 1,500 young learners. In addition, around 1,100 PreK students opted to participate in online learning.
Supporting strong leadership development. In partnership with SLPS, the SLPS Foundation has seeded the launch of Re-Design Fellowship program which will engage 5-7 high performing SLPS principals. These school leaders will spend the next year learning and traveling with their peers to excellent schools, defining their school in an innovative way, with the goal of driving better student success through proven innovations. Finally, they will develop and implement a plan to re-imagine their schools through authentic feedback from peers, district leaders, outside leaders, community stakeholders, and the school board.