"Newport Independent Schools work hard to provide great educational opportunities for all students beginning even in preschool," said Newport Primary School Assistant Principal Nichole Hayden. "It is exciting to have this recognized by the state.” "Family engagement is very important in making sure that our school and families are on the same page," Hayden said. "Our school, and specifically our preschool, offers many opportunities for parents to learn more about how to be partners with the school."
Monthly Born Learning events and Family Literacy in Preschool (FLIP) are two examples of ongoing preschool family events. "During these events, we provide materials for parents to use at home while also teaching parents how to use the materials with their child," Hayden said." Our goal is to have each child ready on day one of kindergarten so much so that all preschool aged children in the community are invited to our events."
The STARS Rating assessment also reviews evidence of classroom quality which is done by visits to the classrooms, which at Newport Primary School are furnished with high quality equipment and technology. "This recent STAR rating is even more important to our work in our preschool partnership grant where one goal is to help improve the quality of early childhood education across the community," Hayden said. "Our two preschool liaisons are working with several early childhood partners in a variety of ways but for two of these partners it will be specifically working to help them earn more stars by increasing their professional knowledge and instructional quality."
This summer, the school will offer a kindergarten readiness initiative known as the lMe and My School program, which is funded in part by the United Way and the Newport Independent School district. "Through this program we hope to ease the transition from preschool to Kindergarten and provide summer learning opportunities," Hayden said. "I have to thank our preschool staff who have and continue to work hard to make our preschool program successful."
Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Kelly Middleton said early childhood education is a top focus of the Newport Board of Education. "Last year we hired long time resident and assistant principal Nichole Hayden to be our director of preschool education," Middleton said. "Having grown up in Newport, Nichole truly understands our community and the needs of our students. I am very proud of the work and success Nichole and her preschool staff are having with the students and parents within our community."