Innovation in Early Education
Almost six years ago, we opened the doors of The New E3 School, a state-of-the-art mixed-income model for children ages one to five in the neighborhood of Park Place in Norfolk. We set out to accomplish several goals:
- Develop a model school for the state that was a hybrid of national best practices.
- Create a school that children, families and teachers couldn’t wait to come to every day. A place where children thrive and develop a love of learning.
- Fund the development of the STREAMin3 curriculum model (curriculum, professional development, coaching and assessment) created by UVA.
- Impact even more children by replicating and scaling the model for use in other programs.
- Pilot the model in 112 classrooms(faith-based, Head Start, private and the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) across Virginia with state and private funds.
- Demonstrate that investment in high-quality early learning programs leads to ALL children being ready for kindergarten regardless of their socioeconomic background.
- Utilize a preschool version of the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) to monitor kindergarten readiness.
- Position the school as a catalyst for policy change.
Where Are We today?
- COVID-19 prevented the collection of classroom quality and kindergarten readiness data.
- The state funding ended for the two-year pilot in the midst of the health crisis. The Alleghany Foundation, Obici Healthcare Foundation, UVA and private donors made it possible for 82 classroomsacross the state to continue for another year to collect 2020-21 data.
- Preliminary findings show that programs implemented the model with moderate to high fidelity.
- Interactions with children improved.
- The model proved to be replicable and scalable in various early learning environments.
(Prior to COVID-19)
- Every classroommet or exceeded the quality benchmarks.
- All four-year-oldsexceeded kindergarten readiness benchmarks in math, and self-regulation.
- Most children met or exceeded the benchmarks for literacy and social skills.
(During COVID-19 & serving essential personnel only)
- All classrooms met or exceeded the threshold for quality.
- All four-year-old children exceeded the math benchmark.
- 9 out of 10 children exceeded literacy benchmarks.
- All scholarship recipients met or exceeded benchmarks in math, self-regulation and social skills.
- Children showed a need for more support developing their social and self-regulation skills.