PO Box 12024
Salem, OR 97309
1850 45th Ave NE
Salem, OR 97305
Monday through Friday,
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
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.
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.
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.