Head Start Preschool Program

Head Start Preschool Program2018-04-02T07:27:05+00:00
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Head Start Contact Information

Head Start Mailing Address

PO Box 12024
Salem, OR  97309

Head Start Office Physical Address

1850 45th Ave NE
Salem, OR  97305





Office Hours

Monday through Friday,
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Stephanie Whetzel

Asst. Coordinator

Sophia Duerst

Head Start is a safe and nurturing environment for children between the ages of 3 and 5. Head Start provides a variety of support programs for students and families to help them on the road to success.

During the preschool years, children begin to build the brain structures that will help them be successful students. Attending high-quality preschool nurtures this brain development, and can help smooth a child’s transition into kindergarten.

For these reasons and others, children who attend preschool are more likely to become successful students later on. Salem-Keizer Public Schools coordinates four different programs, Tuition-Based Preschool, Title-Funded Preschool, Preschool Promise, and Head Start Preschool (information below on this page), that serve preschool-age children. Programs and locations vary based on school neighborhood and the child’s financial need.

Head Start Applications

Head Start applications are available at the school sites, at the links below, or by contacting the Head Start central office at 503-399-5510.

  • Salem-Keizer Head Start and Community Action Head Start use the same application to qualify families. The family’s residence will determine which program will best serve the family.
  • Proof of income to determine federal income eligibility, birth certificate and immunizations must accompany the application in order to complete the process.
  • Applications are scored when they are received at the central office. Scores are determined by income and child/family needs.
  • Eligible families are contacted to complete the required program paperwork. Families will be notified by mail if they are placed on the waiting list. We can only have 20 children in each classroom.
  • As children drop from the program, new children are added from the waiting list.
  • Returning children are re-enrolled in May for the following school year.
  • Program applications are sent to elementary schools in April, in order to begin the enrollment process for the following year.
Head Start Application – English La Aplicación Pre-Escolar de Head Start [Spanish]
Head Start Application Head Start Application - Spanish

About Head Start

To be eligible for Head Start services, a child must be three or four by September 10 and be from a low-income family (meeting federal income guidelines). Generally, qualifying children live close to the school site they attend, ensuring a successful transition into kindergarten at the same location.

It is estimated that approximately 50 percent of the program families speak languages other than English. Since Spanish is the most predominant of the other languages spoken, all of the classrooms are staffed with bilingual language support and parent volunteers.

Each classroom has a paid parent assistant. The parent assistant is typically a parent of one of the Head Start students in the classroom.

Salem-Keizer Head Start is a state funded program. The Oregon Department of Education monitors the program. Head Start Performance Standards are mandatory regulations that all Head Start programs must implement. The standards define the objectives and goals of a quality program.

As the program grantee, the Salem-Keizer School Board and the program Policy Council have the responsibility of shared governance, overseeing the delivery of high quality services to children and families. Each classroom has two parent representatives on Policy Council who make decisions about program operation, approve program policies and serve as the link from the sites to Policy Council.

Salem-Keizer Head Start has high standards for children and staff. Staff are highly qualified district employees. The educational team uses ongoing assessment of each child, which enables them to set goals, individualize programs and keep parents informed of their child’s progress throughout the school year.

Community Assessment

Parents enrolling their children in the Head Start program completed a survey in February 2014 about the greatest needs in the community and the greatest need within their own family.

Community Assessment, February 2014 [English] Asesoramiento de la Comunidad, Febrero 2014 [Spanish]
Community Assessment [English] Community Assessment - Spanish

Download Attachments

File Description Date added File size
pdf 2018-2019 Head Start Application - English April 2, 2018 7:18 am 286 KB
pdf 2018-2019 Head Start Application - Spanish April 2, 2018 7:15 am 501 KB
pdf Community Assessment English July 13, 2017 1:19 pm 2 MB
pdf Community Assessment 2014-Spanish Asesoramiento de la Comunidad [Spanish]
July 13, 2017 1:19 pm 810 KB

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