Early Learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act in North Carolina
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law in December 2015, bolsters federal support for early learning and provides opportunity to strengthen the birth-through-third grade continuum – a critical strategy to improve third grade reading proficiency. In September 2017, North Carolina submitted its state plan to comply with the federal law. Now, North Carolina Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are preparing their district ESSA plans for the 2018-19 academic year.
As LEAs build their district ESSA plans, they will be required to engage early learning stakeholders. Stakeholders may include, but are not limited to, Head Start, Title 1, Smart Start, elementary school principals and teachers, child care administrators and teachers, Child Care Resource and Referral, Exceptional Children, McKinney Vento, NC Pre-K Committee, family engagement professionals, community college system, community organizations supporting dual language learners, health care providers, existing early childhood collaboratives (e.g., Campaign for Grade-Level Reading), higher education and others.
The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) is partnering with the Office of Early Learning and the NC Head Start Collaborative Office at the Department of Public Instruction to support LEAs and early childhood community leaders in collaborating to develop the early learning components of the LEA’s ESSA district plans.
We have hosted webinars and presented at conferences to build awareness of opportunities in the plans. In January, we hosted four regional meetings to assist LEAs and early learning stakeholders in this work.
- Provided an overview of ESSA early learning requirements and opportunities,
- Prepared districts to engage cross-sector, early learning stakeholders in plan development,
- Supported districts in identifying data needed to inform decision-making, and
- Supported districts in beginning to outline early learning components to consider.
Request for Applications
We will be providing intensive support to a small number of local teams, including coaching, materials, a shared learning community and plan review. Materials and lessons learned will be shared across the state. Download the Request for Applications. (MS Word) (pdf)
Materials for Regional Meetings
- Whole-Child, Birth-through-Eight Data Book
- Research Basis for the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success
- Fact Sheet on NC’s Efforts to Strengthen Birth-through-Eight Continuum
- Early Learning Requirements and Opportunities in the ESEA and Related Programs
- Policy Levers to Promote Early Literacy in ESSA State and Local Plans
- Planning for the Transition to Kindergarten – Why it Matters and How to Promote Success
- Attendance in the Early Grades: Why it Matters for Reading
- AtteNdanCe Counts
- What is Title I Preschool?
- New Early Childhood Coordination Requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) A Toolkit for State and Local Educational Agencies, Head Start Programs, and the Early Childhood Field
Directories of Birth-through-Eight Contacts
- Child Care Staff at County Departments of Social Services and Local Child Care Subsidy Administrators
- Child Care Licensing Staff
- NCDPI Federal Program Monitoring and Support
- NCDPI Office of Early Learning
- NC Partnership for Children
- Smart Start Local Partnerships
Presentations and Webinars
North Carolina Association of Compensatory Educators Annual Conference, October 26, 2017
- Presentation: Early Learning and ESSA: What are the Opportunities? (pdf)
- Presentation: Why do Districts Need to Pay Attention to Birth through Third Grade? (pdf)
- Presentation: Using Title 1 for Birth through Third Grade (pdf)
North Carolina School Boards Association Annual Conference, November 13, 2017
- Presentation (pdf)
North Carolina School Superintendents Association, December 13, 2017
Webinar for NC Early Learning Leaders, December 15, 2017
Recorded Webinars for Local School Boards