Head Start Leadership Institute:
Head Start Management Systems Wheel: A Key Resource for Head Start Stakeholders
John Williams: My name is John Williams. I'm the IST manager and also Governance and Program Management specialist with the National Center of Program Management and Fiscal Operations. And we're here today to talk about the Management Systems Wheel. And if someone could please move my slide back to Number 1, please, the title slide.
Thank you. The Head Start Management Systems Wheel: A Key Resource for Head Start Stakeholders. To our friends online, bienvenidos. I understand that we'll also be translated in Spanish, as well, and so you'll notice that I'm kind of a little measured in my speaking pace just so we can make sure they understand, as well. Welcome, again, to all of you to the Head Start Leadership Institute.
I hope you've had a successful conference so far, and we're looking forward to presenting this resource tool to further your leadership journeys. Before we get started, just a few housekeeping items. I am being ably assisted today by Kate, who is our room monitor. Kate, raise your hand and wave to everybody. She's making sure all of you have handouts. I've also been asked to remind people that if you want CEU credit, please see Kate on your way out because she'll start that process for you, all right? The other thing to remind everybody of is that there will an evaluation sent out later on today to have you weigh in on the quality of the conference and the sessions you attended. So please be on the lookout for that, and please complete that as soon as you get that because it's all important to the event organizers for program quality. So with that, we're going to get started on our particular journey and over the next 90 minutes, really acquaint you further with the Head Start Management Systems Wheel.
Our objectives over the next 90 minutes are as follows -- to gain an enhanced understanding of Head Start management systems, to learn how to support systems building and ongoing sustainability using the Wheel, and finally, applying the knowledge through the lens of the Head Start Program Performance Standards. So as we're going through the Wheel, we've been very intentional about cross walking it to key parts of the revised standards, so you'll have that available for you as well. Any questions so far? So before I begin, let me take a quick poll of the audience. I always like knowing who I'm speaking to.
So how many of you are Head Start or Early Head Start staff members? Okay. How many of you are Office of Child Care staff members or Child Care staff members? Okay. And how many of you -- I'll give you a rhyme to all of this in a few seconds. How many of you have been with Head Start for five years or less? Raise your hands. Five years or less? Great. How about 6 to 10 years? Raise your hand. How many of you more than 10 years? Oh, wow. We have a veteran crowd. That's great. How many of you more than 20 years? All right. All right. Okay. Big question -- how many of you for 45 or more years? Anybody? I'll tell you why I asked that question in just a second. Because as we think about the new standards, they were last revised in 1971. So it's been a while, and I just wanted to see.
But it looks like we have a fair amount of people that have a large knowledge base, so that's going to be very important as we have some table chats later on today. So, a little back story on the Wheel. First of all, how many of you have worked with the Wheel in the audience today? Okay. We introduced this -- We kind of road tested it just about this time last year, probably about May or June. It was formally adopted during the summer of 2016, and we've made further revisions on it in concert with the Office of Head Start. How many of you remember the management systems constellation? The management systems constellation. That basically was kind of a hub-and-spoke model where we had a centerpiece, and then the management systems formed the spokes. When we started talking about the Five-Year Project Period, we at PMFO realized we needed to kind of upgrade that model so it really reflected some of the priorities of the Five-Year Project Period.
As we were doing that revision, the Office of Head Start let us know that the revised standards were also on the way. And so that's when we started working side-by-side with them as well to redesign the Wheel in a way that not only spoke to the Five-Year Project Period but now also spoke to the revised standards. So that's what you'll be seeing today, and that's kind of the back story on how we put this all together. And so the management -- Let's see. Actually, take me back one, please. Okay. Since we don't have animation on this one, I wanted to step you through the elements of the Wheel, and then we'll start doing a deeper dive. First of all, you'll notice -- and you'll also have this at your table, so please feel free to reference that as well. The Leadership and Governance area -- that is in blue. That's the outer blue ring. We consider the Leadership and Governance realm the foundational aspect of the Wheel, because really, for a Head Start agency's success, it starts with a strong program leadership. And you program leaders are your Governing Body, your Policy Council, and your Management Staff. So let me do a quick poll. How many of you are Management Staff in the room? How many of you are Policy Council members? Any Policy Council members?
Anybody on the Governing Body? Okay. So in this case -- and I don't know who we have out listening to us, but the idea is that all three of those entities form the program leadership of an agency. And so it's very important because they set the trajectory for the agency and to make sure that it's following through on its program goals and objectives. After the outer ring, we have the support ring, the Oversight ring which is in yellow, and that's really covering the scope of the systems. We have Program Management, Planning, and Oversight. As you'll see in a few minutes, this is also where we have in terms of the standards area such as the delegate relationship and also program monitoring. What we'll be focused on today are the 12 pie slices in light blue. Those are the key management systems that help your agency operate effectively. And we'll be giving you a little bit of a background on each of those 12. Then we have in, the inner blue circle, the key community and family -- the key -- excuse me. Program services for your Head Start agency. They include ERSEA, education, health, and family and community engagement. And so those are the key services for your agency. And then all of that leading to our target area, which is quality child and family outcomes.
So that's a little bit about the structure of Wheel. And now that we've given you that back drop and again, you'll have your Management Wheels at your tables, one thing before we go further, you'll notice that what I've given out is what we call the Management Wheel guiding questions so that is going to be a very important element of the tool, and I'll explain that as we go through each section. Now we're going to begin our tour. And before I go into that in depth, I want to have a first table conversation -- have you guys have some table conversation at your tables. And that is to think about this question.
Seeing the systems as they're presented right now, especially the pie slices, take about five minutes and chat at your tables about what systems -- and for those of you online, please use your chat rooms, think about what systems are really working well at your agencies and discuss them with your participants and then think about ones that might need some further growth.
And we'll just take about five minutes to do that, and I'll come back in just a second. Thank you for those of you that are moving around. I appreciate it. Form communities. That's what it's all about. Take about another minute or so and then we'll start finding out your thoughts. And again, what we're doing is, both online and in the room kind of just sharing an initial share on what systems you feel are working in your agencies and what systems might need further growth. All righty. So, I'm going to turn first to our technical staff and see if there's any input from online, our online participants, on some thoughts on what systems are working well and what systems might need further growth. How about let's look at what's working well. Any input from online?
Kate: Yes. So we have a comment saying that training and professional development are working well. John: Oh, good. Good. Okay. Good to hear. Thank you.
Kate: I have a couple more comments about what needs help, so maybe I'll pause.
John: Okay. And for anybody that has input in the room, I'm going to ask you to please go to a mic, that way, our participants that are participating on social media can hear you. So, any thoughts from those in the room about what's working well?
Kate: One more comment. There's a comment saying that their Fiscal and HR are amazing. They have a lot of experience.
John: Fiscal and HR are amazing. Great. Great. We'll talk about that further. How about our room participants? Any thoughts on what's working well? Okay. Right there. Thank you.
Woman: We were just talking about what went well, and Training and Professional Development is one of them, as well as our Fiscal Management. And I was just sharing with the nice lady next to me was that one of the things that we had talked about with my management team -- I'm from North Carolina. And so we had our North Carolina conference, and they talked about the Wheel, and they discussed setting up your management team meetings with the agenda being the headlines of the Wheel so that way, you're constantly having conversations about each of those.
John: So a really focused approach on systems building through your management team. Fantastic. Thank you. Thank you. Anybody else? Now, just really quickly, how about systems that need further work or further growth? Any thoughts on that? Oh, it looks like we have a room participant. You lead off, and then I'll go to our social media participants.
Betsy: I'm Betsy from Vermont. And we have great HR systems, but we have real struggles in the rural community finding qualified staff, so that really is both a strength and a challenge for us. In the HR piece of finding teachers that meet qualifications not only for Head Start but also for our state licensing piece now. So great systems, we just need more great people. So if you're looking for a job, come to Vermont. [ Laughter ]
John: And just so you know, we're kind of neighbors, because one of PMFO's key partners is University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute. So just a quick overview, because I forgot to mention that for PMFO -- PMFO consists of UMass Donahue Institute, Zero to Three, FHI360, and UCLA. And as we talk about Training and Professional Development, I'll make sure that we cover some of the things that we're doing with UCLA. To our friends in social media land, how about you? What areas need further growth?
Kate: So, a couple of comments about areas that need growth. One is Ongoing Monitoring. They could use a little more support there. Mental Health I'm guessing in their program needs more support and as well as Community Assessment.
John: Okay. And Community Assessment is huge. We are focused on that at PMFO. So as all of the national centers are revising their entries for ECLKC to update them to be consistent with the current standards, so be on the lookout for a more expanded view of Community Assessment coming shortly. But thank you for that. Any other social media comments before I move on? Okay. So Let's start our tour in earnest. We're going to first touch on that outer ring, Leadership and Governance. And as I talked about, the program leadership consists of the Governing Body/Tribal Council, Policy Council, and the Management Staff. And the area of the revised standards that this covers is all in Part 1301. One of the things that we did in looking at this area and looking at the Wheel itself was think about some guiding questions, because we really wanted this to be a journey for you. We did not want this to be a top-down feature. And as you've heard many times with the revised standards, we're encouraging exploration, we're encouraging you to think about the standards as to how they best work with your operation.
And so consistent with that, in every area of the Management Wheel, you'll see what we call questions to consider. So as you think about how to strengthen your program leadership, your Governing Body/ Tribal Council, Policy Council, and Management Staff, here are some lead questions to consider and that you can take home and think about with your staffs to see where you are. How do you know that the Governing Body and Policy Council members are knowledgeable about their roles? Okay. That's really spelled out not only in the standards, but also the Head Start Act of 2007. Let me say at this juncture, the Act -- the revised standards that were released in 2016 are really now designed to be a complete complement to the Head Start Act. So as we talk about governance, Program Governance, that's going to be an additional reference and a complement to the standards. How is the required expertise -- For example, financial, legal, and early education -- represented?
And if exceptions have been made, how are these documented? Reminder, you can always use consultants, but you just have to make sure your program specialists are clear on how you're doing that. What is the makeup of the Policy Council? Both the Policy Council and the Governing Body have key composition points that you must meet. And how is the communication between these three entities working? So again, for this program leadership that we're talking about to be effective, there has to be back and forth and effective communication. And if applicable, how are your Governing Body members involved in strategic planning? Some of you might be in other agencies. Your Head Start programs might be nestled within other agencies or operations, and so it's important that you think about not only how program plan affects the Head Start component but also how it might affect the parent component of the agency you're working in. And key examples include community action programs. They could also include municipalities as you think about how your Head Start program is working with your county or local officials. And so that's what we mean by that. Any questions on this?
Okay. So, we talked about that yellow area, and that's the Program Management, Planning, and Oversight systems. And again, as we think about this particular area and cross walking it, it obviously supports the Management System platform that we'll explore in just a second. We also addressed the Implementation of the Program Performance Standards, and Federal Administrative Procedures also covers items such as monitoring. And so as you heard from Edea, I believe yesterday, we know that's being revised. That's also being revised to be an active complement to the tone of the standards, that is as you heard her talk about it, really find out how you're interpreting the standards at your agencies and how are you making them fit your particular operations. And so it's not going to be as cut and dried as it was in the past and as she talked about, maybe even a little streamlined. So think about that as you're moving forward. And then 1305 is of course the definitions of key terms.
Now we're really going to go through the 12 Management Systems, and this is where we're going to spend most of our time. So first stop is Program Planning and Service System Design. How many of you are near or in the fourth or fifth year of your five-year grant? Anybody close? Okay, we have a few people that are close. Okay, great. So you know now you're at that period where you're starting to really tie your story together, you're really starting to think about "What kind of impact has my program had on our children, families, and communities over the last five years?" Just as a reminder, the Program Planning and Service System Design area really helps drive that process. It drives programs through the five-year journey, ensures coordinated approaches that ensure inclusion of all children and families, and focuses on how data informs the planning process, okay? And as you heard yesterday, program data is also going to be very important. I'll talk about that further in just a second, but this is a key area -- one of the key schematic references to this is your program planning cycle. And again for those of you in your fourth or fifth year, you've been through that two or three times already.
By now, you should be at the point where you're really starting to think about the impact your program has had over that five-year period. One of the questions that we look at here is really thinking about your timeline for your planning process. How does it take shape? How does your particular program planning process take shape at your agency? And these are some of the areas you want to look at -- community assessment, your goal and objective development, coordinated approaches. And when I say coordinated approaches, anybody know what I'm talking about? And if you do, come up to the mic or let me know from social media. Okay. So as they've trained all of us, when you're home and you're looking at your standards, it's all on page 59, and most particularly it's 1302.101, the management system area and area B. And coordinated approaches basically consist of Training and Professional Development system, the full and effective participation of children that are dual-language learners, the full and effective participation of children that have special needs and disabilities, and the management of program data. Those are the four key elements.
Now, one of the things if you're in this room already directly following this session, my colleague Jackie Davis from PMFO will be conducting a session on coordinated approaches. So if you feel compelled to stay, please do so and we'll delve into that in a greater degree. We also ask the question "How are the following stakeholders engaged in our program planning process?" So remember, that's your program leadership, your staff, and various community members. Okay, so those are the kind of guiding questions that you should start with in assessing where your program planning system is. Next up is Data and Evaluation.
And you just heard me say that the whole program planning process is very much informed by data. Data really helps you tell your particular story about your program's effectiveness. And so as we say here, it drives data-based decision making. It informs each stage of the program planning cycle. And it uses qualitative and quantitative measures to ensure effective program management. Now, if you remember I asked the question about what systems you felt were really strong. Does anybody feel in the room or on social media that they have a strong Data and Evaluation system? Anybody in social media? Okay. And we detected that as a challenge, so one thing that PMFO will be offering in the coming year is a more expansive menu on data management, so please stay tuned for that. And as you work with your respective regional representatives and whatnot, if you feel this is a key area, talk about that with them so they can make us aware as we think about our Professional Development planning process that's just getting underway as we speak. Actually, could you move me back one? Move me back one slide, please? Okay. Great. Thank you. Just as a reminder, data is mentioned a few times in 1302 Subpart J, and those are the specific references. Urge you to take a look at those.
We cover some of the qualities of data and the like. So that should be very helpful for to you think about. Some driving questions here is how do we collect and use data to inform our ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement? How do you utilize your staff in your data management process? What well-chosen and well-implemented methods are you using to look at impact? And how does your approach to data management support the availability, usability, integrity, and security of data? This is literally some of the wording from the standards, so we're reflecting them in the guiding questions, as well. Moving forward, Fiscal Management. Now, it was encouraging to hear some of you felt you had very strong fiscal systems.
That's great. Really, the fiscal or the money is the fuel of all of your operations, and so it's important that you make sure it's managed effectively so you can do what you say you want to do with children and families and communities.
So as we think about that here, that accounts for federal assets and compliance with regulation. Just a quick reminder, the average Head Start grant is about $7 million, maybe $8 million now. So you're playing with sizeable amounts of money. You're working with sizeable amounts of money. It's important that you're doing right by your communities and through the federal government with that. It looks at internal controls, and it helps program leaders collaborate as they develop budgets to address goals and priorities. So again, your Fiscal Management really is a key issue. It's one of the reasons why it's in our name -- Fiscal Operations. We take it very seriously as well. You see some of the standards references there. There's an entire section, 1303, that covers financial and administrative procedures. And it's also covered in some aspects of program structure, particularly as we start looking at duration and different program models. So questions here include looking at your timeline.
As you look at all of your fiscal management activities, when does your budgeting take place? How often do you assess that budget? You should be, just a quick reminder going to our second question, be giving the Governing Body and Policy Council monthly reports on the state of your budget. Okay. How do policies and procedures inform our fiscal management efforts? How do you ensure, as we talked about, that you're really doing effective financial oversight? And how does your budgeting process relate to your ongoing activities? And that's just not setting your goals, but if you find, through ongoing monitoring by example, that you have to make adjustments, you have to make adjustments in your budgets as well.
And then finally, how are we using advisory committees to support fiscal management activities? This is one of the places, if you remember the Act, it allows for the use of advisory committees. Those can be really helpful to kind of guide your particular financial activities. How many of you have a finance or fiscal advisory committee in your operations? So you know what I'm talking about. You can see the difference there. For anybody that's raised their hand that's close to a mic, how does that help your operation, that fiscal or financial committee? Anybody want to speak to that? On social media as well. We have somebody coming up. Okay. Great.
Michelle Morrissey: Hi. Michelle Morrissey from WCAC Head Start. Our collaborative effort with the fiscal committee, they actually ask great questions so our directors can analyze and look at our program differently. What's been a great help, our members are on Policy Council. They're able to go back to Policy Council and really understand the fiscal reports and why things have to be the way they are or help us shape to make our program better.
John: Great. That's what should be happening in that type of advisory committee. Just want to remind people, too, you don't have to limit yourself to just fiscal. That's a key example that we're focused on now. But advisory committees can also be a way of developing that next generation of leadership. So you can actually have people on there that you might think of for future slots on your Governing Body. And that can be a nice way of kind of vetting them and getting a sense of their strengths that they can bring to you in the future. So keep that in mind, too. But thank you for that insight. How about social media? Any thoughts on the advisory committee? Okay. All righty. So we'll keep moving on. Next up is Community and Self-Assessment. And in the old management systems, this was called just Community -- Self-Assessment, I should say. We've added Community to really further focus on that.
And when we think about this area, these are really the two entry points of the program planning cycle. For the most part, if you're a brand-new agency, you might be starting with a community assessment, because that really sets the foundation for your grant application. In other words, based on the kind of overview of the community in question and how many children and families are in poverty, how many might be disabled, you formulate your grant application. So the community assessment is often a starting point for that. The self-assessment is also what happens for more veteran agencies as they reflect on how well they've done. And they think about their actual operations and how well-attuned they are to meeting their program goals. Either one of those is really the entry point to the program planning cycle. That's why they're here together. They initiate the program planning process.
Through community assessment, you think about providing the right services to the right population, thus the external focus of the community assessment. And while the self-assessment really looks at continuous quality improvement. How are we making sure our internal operations are in sync with what we want to do in terms of our strategic goals? And a lot of this is covered in 1302 Subpart J. Questions to consider here -- and again, we at PMFO are putting a lot more emphasis on the importance of beefing up the community assessment. So how does our community assessment align with the service needs of children and families? One thing we really, really, really want to emphasize this time around, the community assessment is not a document you do once and put on a shelf. It has to be a live, vital document. What do I mean by that? You should be updating it regularly, at least annually, and thinking about making sure that it's still in sync with what you say you want to do.
Why is that important? How many of you represent Head Starts in urban areas? Raise your hand. Cities? Anywhere? Okay. How many of you have, in your respective urban or city operations, seen the early impacts of what we call gentrification? Okay. What do I mean by gentrification? I want to make this as participatory as possible. So rather than me saying that, anybody close to a mic, talk about what gentrification is in your neck of the woods. And social media, as she's speaking, I invite you as well. Go ahead. Woman 2: Hi. So, in one of our urban areas -- it was a very low-income neighborhood, and there started to be a lot of microbreweries. I'm from Oregon, and so there were a lot of small businesses that starting coming into the community, which also created more people coming to dine and drink in that community. Anyway, people started to actually look around and say "Wow, this is a pretty cool neighborhood." And then they started buying houses, and so we've seen over the last couple of years our wait list start really dropping at one of our big urban sites because of that.
John: And so that pattern that she just described is happening in more and more cities around the country because cities have been rediscovered over the last 10 to 20 years, especially by our younger people. And that's a good thing. I want to be clear on that. But what that means for Head Start is that there's some natural challenges in figuring out how do we realign our services geographically with our key populations? Another thing to think about here is the rise of pre-K programs. How many of you have pre-K programs that have come to bear in the last 5 to 10 years in your service areas? That also has an impact, right? And so as think about strategically "Should we remain a Head Start site? Should we become an Early Head Start site?" That's the reason why a community assessment update covers those trends. And those are just two primary examples. Anybody on social media want to weigh in on this?
Kate: John, there's a slight lag, so just a comment that says yes, there's gentrification in their community. And another comment just agreeing with the definition of gentrification.
John: Great. Thank you. So again, that's why we ask those questions. Does our community assessment include school and child care data? That's also very important too because you have to figure out what need does your Head Start meet relative to other early-education providers? The other thing is how many of you are Early Head Start child care partnership grantees? Okay, then you know firsthand you're actually blending those two operations, so you want to have both child care and Head Start data, obviously, for your operations. Who's engaged in the process? What's the timeline for self-assessment. And again, that self-assessment is kind of taking an internal look. And then how are the results of the self-assessment shared with staff and program leadership? So these are kind of your starter set of questions to consider. Next up is Facilities. How many of you are in facilities that are more than 20 years old? Okay. How many of you are in brand-new facilities? Just curious. Oh, great. Congrats. And on social media, we'll allow for the gap. I'm just trying to get a sense, are any of you dealing with older structures of 20 years or more?
Kate: On the online community, we're just now getting responses about how gentrification has affected their enrollment. They've seen a drop in enrollment in a Brooklyn program here. Gentrification impacting their program and cutting their enrollment in half because of new pre-Ks popping up in their city.
John: Okay. Thank you. That gentrification that we talked about or need to expand can also impact your facilities as well. The Office of Head Start was very active during Hurricane Sandy in Region Two in New York because obviously that affected a big swath of Brooklyn and Long Island. So that's an example of needing to deal with facilities and learning environments. One of the things we added here was thinking about the term "learning environments" because we wanted everyone to think of facilities not just as a physical space where your agencies take shape and your operations take shape, but also there's environments that can inspire learning and support for both children and families. And so that's reflected there. And cultivating spaces that are safe and inspire learning. So that's reflected in this pie slice. Again, 1303 Subpart E and 1302, Learning Environments, are two of the prominent places in the revised standards. Questions to consider. How does our system for managing and monitoring facilities and learning environments ensure that we meet health and safety requirements? This is a key issue because all of you know that not only are you looking at -- as you look at the state of your facilities, you have to make sure they're safe, that you don't have rotted floorboards, that your bathrooms are clean, because all of those have health and safety considerations attached.
So it's very important. This is one of the reasons why this is such a key area. How do indoor and outdoor learning environments support the needs of children, families, and staff? And then finally, how is facilities management addressed from the perspective of program planning and fiscal management?
Very important. How many of you had an opportunity to see my colleague Chris Barns talk about facilities, the application process? Anybody? Okay. Great. Thank you. So that is the beginning of really what will be a suite of looking at the whole facilities cycle, that is from the application to the construction, and all through that entire cycle so that you can understand the importance of this and you know the key decisions that you have to make as you're developing and building out your facilities or leasing them out. How many of you have bus or van systems? Oh, great. We're talking to you now.
Not all Head Starts have transportation systems, but for those that do, you know how important it is to ensure the safe and efficient movement of children. And one of the key questions that I think that keeps everybody that has a van or bus system up at night is "Did we leave any children on the bus?" This is a long-standing question. And this is an area, again, where health and safety interfaces with this system as well. And that's just one aspect that you want to look at. You also want to make sure that your bus system or van system really aligns with the needs of your population. So as we've talked about things like gentrification and really finding what might be those emerging low-income spots, if the historical ones have, you know, redeveloped themselves, you might have to think about changing your routes.
That's just some applications of thinking about transportation. And that's 1303 Subpart F. So, again, some guiding questions here. How is our transportation system aligned with the needs of our families? How do we monitor compliance of our transportation system with both state and federal regulations? What backup systems are in place to ensure all children are accounted for after each trip? Again, getting back to that core question.
And what are the budget implications of our maintenance and repair efforts? This is a key issue, this last one, because you want to make sure that if you're purchasing a van or a bus, it's in sync with the needs of your population. Sometimes you might purchase a 50-seat bus, and you only have 30-seat or even 20- seat needs. So you really want to make sure you're aligning your transportation system with the actual movements of your population. How many of you have made, in the room, a bus or a van purchase in the last year? Okay. And was your staff -- That was a few people, for those of you online. Was your Policy Council and Governing Body engaged in that process? How many had your Governing Body and Policy Council engaged in that process that raised their hands? Okay. This would be one of those key areas where you really need them to weigh in. And you also need to weigh in on "How does our transportation system impact us meeting our program goals and objectives?" Social media, do you have any questions or any observations?
Kate: Yes, there's a comment saying "We contract our bus services. With the increase of cost, it's getting more difficult to hold onto that service. And with our rural county, transportation is a greatly needed service."
John: So what you're having to look at is the increased cost of your transportation service? I'm trying to get clarity on that one.
Kate: I'm not sure. I think she's just saying that maybe since they contract out their bus services, the vendors, you know, it increases every year. But they definitely need it because of the rural atmosphere.
John: I got it now. It sounds like they might be at a strategic place where they have to think about "What alternatives do we have to contracting it out? Do we consider maybe our own trained staff or something like that?"
Kate: We also have a question. Do you recommend transporting Early Head Start children?
John: Well, I mean, these are questions that, first of all -- I'm not trying to be a smart aleck about it -- consult your standards and see what they say. because the standards are very instructive of what you can or how you should operate with children. Given that question that that social media participant just posed, what do the standards say about transporting Early Head Start children? Anybody? Okay. So, what I would recommend you do -- Can we go back two slides? Woman 3: The standards --
John: I'm sorry. Let me go back -- Go up one and then, ma'am, you come back. Yeah, okay. Go ahead. Please. Woman 3: The standards does not tell us we cannot transport Early Head Start children. You do have some serious state mandates to comply with with Early Head Start. We provide transportation for our Early Head Start socialization groups. And the car seats have to align with the child's weight and as the child grows and you are keeping up with car seats that have expired, it's just a very, very tight integral system that you have to be careful of. So you have to check your car seats to make sure they're not disallowed, that they've not expired. You have to make sure that the car seat is appropriate according to the child's weight. There's just so much detail to keep up with. So although there is a need for Early Head Start center-based services to have it, we can only afford to monitor so much. So we provide it only for socialization services in Early Head Start and not center-based because of monitoring that is needed and the amount of manpower you have to keep up and maintain state compliance.
John: So, stay right there for a second because first of all, for those of you on social media, hopefully that explanation of how she's doing it helps answer that question, but also what you pointed out there are a number of key things. Fiscal monitoring. You have got to think about the fiscal implications of keeping up with state standards, okay? Also, the interface of state and federal. So state standards really rule the day. Woman 3: Yes. There are clear definitions and standards that we must follow per state transportation services.
John: And you also have to keep up with those car seats as the standards change in regards to that. Woman 3: You are constantly monitoring the validity of the car seat. And it's something that you have to actively pursue because by the time the manufacturers notify you, it's something that's probably a little too late. So there is a lot of intentional monitoring and it's just a lot of time. Regarding the rural, we serve urban and rural, and we got to the place that the former Internet Head Start grantee might have expressed. Our finance committee helped us out tremendously because we got to the point where we had to cut routes and cut routes in other areas. Through experimenting, we found that cutting routes in the rural areas affected attendance, affected in kind, it affected so many other systems. So we had to look at the lesser of the two evils. And through the finance committee, we were able to make some cuts in more of our urban areas. And we had parents, Policy Council members, Governing Board members on our finance committee that helped to buff it, the families that would be affected in the urban areas and the sense of unfairness that some families very strongly vocalized.
John: So you see this is a very extensive process. When you're running a transportation system, you almost get a sense of what it's like to run a public transportation system because there's so many moving parts to be aware of to make sure you're doing it in a quality manner. So thank you very much for your experience on that. As we think about further questions here -- Actually, we talked about those already. I just wanted to go back and cover off on the regulations. So if you have a question as the social media pointed out, always go back to the standard in question and look that over. And that will be your first way of answering that question. It's been interesting because as the Office of Head Start has received some of your inquiries, sometimes they are alluding to things that never existed. But this is important in terms of if you have a question, go back to the standard in question. And that's why I wanted to focus on 1303 Subpart F, because that's a very important start that talks about the parameters of transportation. Next up, Technology. Now, this was a brand-new area that we've never had before, but it's also very pertinent because we are in 2017. And as you see from certain areas of the standards, there is an expectation of using Web-based systems. So this is a very important element, an added element to the management systems. And we talk here about maintaining the infrastructure, needing to address the increased reliance on data collection and analysis. So as you think about the Data and Evaluation system we just talked about a few minutes ago, how you store it and making sure it's accessible in a technological way is very important. And also select and manage the appropriate hardware and software needed to monitor progress. This is very important. And we know this can be a challenging area, but when you do have a system that works, it can make life a lot easier. As we think about this emerging area, how many of you feel you have good technological platform in your agencies?
Okay. Now, ma'am, since you raised your hand, I'm going to ask you, can you let us know what tells you that you're in the right realm of having a system that can work for you? And I think we're bringing the mic over to you. So great. Thank you. Woman 4: I have the benefit of being part of a school district, and so I have direct access to a technology director. Within the Head Start system, we utilize COPA, and we also utilize TS GOLD. Which once you learn how to use both of those systems and all the intricacies, especially with COPA, it drives all of the data that you need. And then having the benefit of the technology director and the established policies and procedures with the school direct when it comes to FERPA and HIPAA, they provide that training to our staff so everyone understands confidentiality, what's at risk. They also help us support our Website and our social media with Facebook. We educate our parents about information that gets shared on web sites and Facebook as well as the TS GOLD system because they have access to that as well.
So I utilize my PD dollars to send my staff who focus in technology to those types of training, but then because I've been in Head Start for so long, I understand that we have turnover, so I always have a backup person trained as well so that if somebody's not able to be at work, there is another person who can fit in the cog in the wheel to make it keep running. So I think that having -- again, the technology director, his name is Keith, he doesn't understand how vital he is to me, but I tell him that all the time. And he has an assistant, so they come into my program at least once a week, make sure all of my things are updated, they're checking on the protections to make sure everything stays confidential. They also offer what they refer to as Tech Tuesdays. And I'm sure other Head Start grantees are seeing this. We have a workforce that spans generations, and so you have some folks who are scared to death of technology and then you have younger individuals who know nothing but technology.
And we all learn in different ways, so one of the PD opportunities that's available for staff is these Tech Tuesdays. And he walks everyone through, like if you change offices, how to set your equipment up, how to use Word, how to use Excel, how to use your e-mail. We're working on setting up more Professional Development just on e-mail etiquette. So my transportation staff is a great example of this. They would prefer to text, but because we are spread out, I use e-mail. So I'm like "You have to use your e-mail every day." So we're offering some of that Professional Development. Does that answer your question?
John: Well, first of all, I'm looking at my colleague Jackie Davis, who is -- as I would say, the check's in the mail, because you really covered a lot of ground with that. That's almost an ideal data situation. Now, all of you may not have access, as she does, to a public school system. But as you think about this data and technology, the technological system aspect, you can also look at it from training staff to have that expertise or contracting out for it. Again, there are a lot of technical technology consultants.
Anybody using consultants to address their technological issues in the room?
Okay. So there's a lot of ways to do this. What she also touched on is something that also has a human resource aspect, and that is multi-generational management and the effectiveness of having a number of different generations in your Head Start agency. Again, for millennials, this is second nature. I remember going back to the '80s -- yes, I'm that old -- starting to program your VCR. How many of you handed that off to your son, daughter, niece, granddaughter, or whatever, and said "Work this out for me," and they did? Okay. We've grown up, but we still have that kind of reliance.
So that's where the multi-generational aspect comes in on that. And again, really creating that culture that embraces technology. I think your Tech Tuesday idea is really quite noteworthy there of having some set time where you really focus on this in an intentional way. So as we think about this -- and first of all, here are some of the key standards areas that refer to this -- we look at how does our technology align with our program operations and planning activities? And how are technological issues addressed in fiscal management? Again, this is a key fiscal management issue to get the necessary hardware and software and keep it maintained. It's not enough just to buy the new computer. You have to upgrade it. All of you know this from your personal computers. You have to get those upgrades every now and then when they come out so that you have the up-to-date access to key technological platforms. Social media, turning your way, I want to make sure we might not have any questions or comments on this area. I'll give it a little time.
Kate: Yes, some of the comments in the online community, people saying they have an excellent IT coordinator, they have an excellent network where their data is managed. One person -- "We have an excellent IT system. We have a network system where the data is secured."
John: Okay. Good. Thank you. Thank you. Okay. Training and Professional Development, something that all of you in this room are doing right now. This is the reason for this event to bring important content and updated content to you. And so you're actively participating in this system as we speak. We heard also a reference in one of our back-and-forth exchanges to also using your Professional Development dollars to make things happen as well. So as we think about the fiscal management lens on this, probably your biggest expenditure is in human resources, staffing. And this is one of those areas where it should be invested. You have got to keep your staff up to date. You have to keep them well-trained.
How many of you are utilizing practice-based coaching in the room? Okay. That's a Training and Professional Development activity. How many of you are sending staff to NHSA immediately following this event? Okay. That's another Professional Development activity. So this whole week and weekend is really dedicated to thinking about ways in a group setting in bringing your staff up to date. Also, we know that there's the very personal touch of using consultants inside your agencies. There can be a number of ways of addressing this is my point. So it emphasizes the importance of training and technical assistance and offers a range of instructional resources including federal and regional T and TA staff and key resources on the ECLKC website. So as national centers who are providing this content to you, we're doing this not only in this realm, but we do it around the country all throughout the year at your various events. And we also, as I indicated earlier, are updating the ECLKC website so that you can access it there as well. And the major area of that is included within 1302.92(b) in Subpart I. Questions here. How do our training and professional development plans address the knowledge and skills needed to meet our program's objectives and goals? And in addition to training and technical-assistance resources, how are our training and technical-assistance funds being used to access additional professional development resources? Let me stop on that question for a second. And I'm curious whether from social media or in the room, are there places where you've gone another level in looking at your own dollars, and how have you used your own dollars to address your professional development needs outside of the national center or the Head Start T and TA system? Anybody want to share that? On social media as well. And let me know if anybody on social media wants to weigh in on how they've used -- Okay. We have somebody in just a minute coming up. Thank you. Woman 5: I was going to just share that we use our TA dollars by bringing the trainers to us so that way, we can have more staff exposed versus sending two or three people to a conference. And then also, we have our management team that does training and then some of our teachers that is doing -- while they're teaching and learning well in their classrooms, they're teaching, sharing those techniques with the other teachers during our pre-service and in-service trainings.
John: Mm-hmm. Anybody else? Raise your hand and Kate will come your way. And then in the meantime, social media, any observations about how you're using your TA dollars?
Kate: There's still a bit of a lag here. Oh, we have one. Their grantee is doing an excellent job in providing professional development. There's a wide variety of frequency as well as levels, many different levels of professional development. "As a new Head Start director" -- This is another comment -- getting a T and T/A staff to do professional development and bring her up to speed as a new director has been really helpful for her. And another comment just saying, "Oh, what a great idea to bring in trainers to maximize their dollars."
John: Yeah. So, one of the things I heard from both that and the other answer was the importance of also sharing the knowledge. So in case you can't send a whole cadre of people out, it's important when they come back that there's an organized brain dump of what's been shared and that somehow you're organizing that. And again, keep that in mind as you're thinking about this. With the MyPeers platform, you'll be able to bring back a lot of good content and have people download content that was shared here, even if they weren't in the room. So I really want to emphasize the role that the design of this conference has had in making sure you have access even if you can't be here personally. So, go ahead, Kate.
Stacie Stefka: Hi. Stacie Stefka from Bryan, Texas. BVCAA Head Start. One of the things we do with our T and TA is not only do we bring in different people to come in and train and that type of thing from different organizations, but when I bring staff to the different trainings, one of the requirements is to create a presentation at the end of it to be able to present, whether in webinar or some type of form, to be able to relay that information, because for so many years, I came and got it, but then sharing it was always the difficult part. So we made that a requirement, and the staff really love to see the different things that are occurring because it's not practical to pull all the teachers out in the middle of the week, obviously.
John: So before you pass your mic up, what I heard was, when they share, you actually create a webinar when they come back?
Stacie: We do. Either a webinar or some type of slide show to do at pre-service, kind of depending upon what the topic was. But even if it's a small information from health services, I mean, I think we all gain information, and we try to do something to make sure it has kind of gone throughout the staff. It was slow at first, but we are improving upon it. And that's one of the things. If you want to come, you got to know this is a requirement.
John: First of all, I like that for a number of reasons. Not only are you addressing the PD in an interesting fashion, but again, you're touching on technology, a technological approach to do it that can get people adopting it without even knowing it. So congratulations. That's great. That's great. Which leads us into Communication, the effectiveness of communication and building those relationships, both internally and externally with your programs, and helping programs tell their stories. Again, as we think about for those of you especially at the 4- or 5-year mark of your grants, those stories should now be taking shape, and they should be exciting ones to tell your community stakeholders on how well your Head Start is doing. This really goes throughout the revised standard structure.
And so in every area, you can see a reference to communication in different ways and shapes and forms. So that's why we have it going throughout all of those. And then here are some things to consider. How does your communication plan address both internal and external communication? How do communication policies and procedures address such key issues as social media management and confidentiality? Let me stop there for one second. If we were doing this session five years ago, even 10 years ago, I don't think we'd be talking about social media the way we are now. That is a recent phenomenon that has really changed the complexion of communication for all of us. As we talked about with the MyPeers platform, it's a major game changer for how we're providing this information and sharing it, okay? So the social media aspect really needs to be thought about. How many of you have social media policies for your agencies? Oh, good. Good. And that's something that you might not have had five years ago, but what are you trying to avoid? That innocent picture of a child that goes up on somebody's Facebook page. Okay. Nice picture. Inappropriate.
Okay? That's one place where we have to think really strategically about proper use of communication. Final question -- what communication approaches are used to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically specific populations? How many of you deal with other languages other than English in your operations? Raise your hands. Okay. Anyone want to share how they've looked at outreach to linguistically or culturally specific communities in different ways? I mean, it goes more than just translating a flyer. It also looks at how do you think about those cultural patterns and really effectively communicate with them? So anybody, even on social media, do you have any things to share while we're waiting? Okay. And social media, we'll turn back to you, because I know there's a little bit of a lag. Go ahead.
Amy: I'm Amy. I'm from Celina, Ohio, which is a very rural community, but we have a significant population of Marshallese. They're from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. And they come to us, there's another pocket, I believe, in Arkansas or Nebraska, I'm not real sure, but they come to us for work. They work at a place called Cooper Farms. This has been a struggle for us because there aren't many resources. We've even contacted the U.S. Embassy, and this is just a funny ha ha because you got to laugh at it. When we asked them for information to provide, they sent it to us in English.
So we have really truly relied on the Marshallese population that has been in our community for a while. There's one specific gentleman, he's been in the U.S. for over 20 years, and he helps us a great deal, but because he works, his time is limited. So he's been trying to recruit others to come and work for us.
We've learned a lot about their culture. Education is not one of their major concerns, and so our staff have to accept the fact that those children aren't going to be at school every day. They're not going to be on time. They are very family-oriented. They're very community-oriented. But they're also very closed, so we have found that our best way to reach out to them is to go into their community. So we try to find out when they are having -- they're big into basketball and volleyball, and so on Saturdays when the weather's nice, they go to a community park and we go there, for no other reason than for them to see us as a non-threatening individual and that we respect them and that we just want to provide some services to their families so that their children are able to transition into the public school system. Our school district has provided a DLL tutor, so our Marshallese children twice a week do some pull out with someone who works with them specifically on obtaining English language skills.
John: Yeah, so you touched on number of things to think about, whether your outreach is driven by, say, a resettlement community or other things like that, and that is to think about what those gatekeepers are, who are those major gatekeepers that can be the first stop? And again, one of the things -- you would cover this, for example, in your community assessment in figuring out, but figuring out those gatekeepers. Also thinking about the attitudes of education. Having dealt with new immigrant populations myself, there is that education of the education process around the parent being a partner with the teacher. That can be new. And so that is something that you also have to gently address, but in ways they can understand. Because the idea of Head Start is not only work with children, but also their parents to be future leaders. So this whole communication end is really a great way to start exploring how do you create and how do you utilize really culturally responsive practice to meet the needs of children? You've talked about, obviously, dual language, as Jackie will talk about next. That's one of the key constructs of coordinated approaches. Mm-hmm. From social media, any comment?
Kate: Yes. From the online community -- Well, first we have a question. She missed what the comment in the room was about. What was that community?
John: Oh, could you repeat the name of the community again? Kate: And the language?
Amy: They are from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. It's kind of in between Australia and Hawaii. And they refer to themselves as the Marshallese. And they speak Marshallese. And their second language is English, but it's not spoken on the islands very much. Only here in the United States.
John: Okay, I hope that clarified the question. Any comment?
Kate: Yes. Some comments that their program is bilingual, so everything that they do is translated, as well. Just comments that they have a very diverse community. Yes.
John: Okay, great. And we know because we at PMFO and other national centers work with our friends in Region Two in Puerto Rico, so in that case, English is the second language and Spanish is the first language. So this can go a number of different ways, depending on the nature of your Head Start operation. Recordkeeping and Reporting -- the key thing I want you to take away from this one is institutional memory.
The key litmus test for everybody in this room in thinking about this, you never want to be in a case where -- and I think you, ma'am, addressed it in your data thing about really leaning on someone, what happens if your data person leaves tomorrow? Okay? What happens if that veteran and some of you are veterans in this room, you decide it's time to retire? What happens to your program? You don't want the momentum that your program has built up to be stilted because someone leaves. So when we talk about Recordkeeping and Reporting, we're really focused on really maintaining the institutional memory of your program so that it doesn't lose its momentum. Also includes overseeing and distributing strategic reports and recordkeeping and informing staff, leadership, and external partners. Now, with the advent of the Head Start performance standards, this recent revision, also what's being covered now, and you'll see it in Subpart C, is the Protection for the Privacy of Child Records. We touched on that briefly in communication. It also applies here as well. Obviously all of you know, depending on the nature of your Head Start populations, you have some folks in very sensitive environments. It's so important to look at your privacy and confidentiality standards regardless and obviously for all children. So keep that in mind as you're thinking about this area. Questions -- Our recordkeeping and reporting systems, how does it use technology to manage information?
Again, that's the interface with technology. How do our recordkeeping and reporting policies and procedures address key issues such as confidentiality? How does our reporting system provide program leadership with key information to make decisions in a timely and thorough manner? And again, this goes back to with your Governing Body and Policy Council, they need to be receiving periodic reports on the state of the agency. And then finally, how does our recordkeeping and reporting system generate real-time reports that improve program services? And again, this is where also the effectiveness of technology, along with good program practices, come into play so that you're always up to date about what's going on in a real-time basis. There's not a lag between an event and you doing something about it. All right. Any thoughts or questions from the social media community?
Kate: Yes, we have a comment asking if you can expand on institutional memory.
John: Okay. So what tends to happen, and I've been doing nonprofit technical assistance in one way shape or form for about 25 years, you might have what we call a charismatic leader and one that makes great things happen. But because he or she has not written stuff down, if they leave the picture for any reason, suddenly that agency almost stops in its tracks because the efforts that they put together are not shared in such a way where others can adapt them and pick them up and run with them, okay? In a very practical setting, almost any of you in this room have that person you really lean on. And so the question is as you're leaning on them, do you have an organized way of getting background from them and finding out how they're doing their job and writing it down so that others can follow? That's what we're talking about. Does that help?
John: Ongoing Monitoring and Continuous Improvement -- Again, this is the inner circle of the program planning cycle. And really, I look at it as really a key business concept that Head Start is adopting, and that is continuous quality control and improvement. Really looking at how well are we doing, what kind of adjustments do we need to make so that we can make sure we're meeting our program goals and objectives? Okay. And this is what you do on an ongoing basis, thus the term "ongoing monitoring." We've added continuous improvement, because that's really what it's all about. If it's going well, you should be on the road to continuous improvement as a result. You share that data with staff, Policy Councils, and governing bodies to engage all in the program planning process. And again, Subpart J in 1302. There are core places where you can cover that there.
Okay. But again, this is really the course-correction vehicle for your Head Start programs. So, questions - How does ongoing monitoring inform our program operations and planning? What is the timeline for ongoing monitoring activities? Let me stop there for a second. How many of you do ongoing monitoring on a quarterly basis? Okay. How many of you do it on a monthly basis? Just curious. Oh, great. A lot. All right. All right. Good. Good. That's the idea. There's not one sanctioned period, but it should be ongoing in a really strategic way. How are staff trained and engaged in ongoing monitoring? And how are the results of our ongoing monitoring shared with staff and program leadership? Last but not least, the biggest item on your budget is Human Resources and staffing. So what we say here is a Head Start is only as good as its people. Whether they're volunteers or staff, you have got to have the right people at the helm to make sure your program is operating in the way you said it would.
They are an investment. And that's one reason why it is so important that you invest effectively here. You ensure that staff and volunteers have the credentials and competencies needed to fulfill their responsibilities. So we spent a fair amount of time on Training and Professional Development. That comes out of the Human Resource area and looking at what training will you need to do to make sure your programs are up to date? And that is 1302 Subpart I. Key questions -- How does our organizational structure support our staff? What is our process for hiring and onboarding staff? Does our practice for hiring and onboarding include culturally responsive practices? How do we ensure that staff members have the appropriate credentials? How do you promote sustainability? And how do our human resource activities inform our budgeting efforts? All core questions. With that, we're going into the inner ring.
And this is just a quick rundown on the comprehensive services that includes ERSEA, Education, Health, and Family and Community Engagement.
ERSEA is really looking at the cycle of engaging your families and children. That's 1302 Subpart A, a very important piece of getting them engaged and making sure whether they're refugees, immigrants, or your standard service population, how are you going to get them engaged? Are you reaching out, recruiting them, and making sure they attend? Education includes a number of different areas, but obviously that's what happens in the classroom in a core area. Also thinking about what happens in different areas. You might have a center-based program. You might have a home-based program. So education is very important in each of those areas. You have a number of different Subparts, including dealing with children with disabilities, transition services, moving from Head Start into DEAs, LEAs. The coordinated approach for program management, which we'll talk about next, including dual language, and the staff requirement for language. Health, physical and mental, is 1302 Subpart D. Actually, take me back one. I'm sorry. I went too fast. Very important area where we also deal with health and safety concerns that we talked about earlier. The mental health piece is also a very important one. We know that is strategically a very important aspect of the health of your children and their families. So you have really healthy environments for learning to take place. This also includes items like oral health and making sure children are getting those dental checkups at an early stage. Next up is Family and Community Engagement.
And again, this is one of the key aspects of any Head Start operation, of really making sure the family is engaged with the child and so making sure that those services are in place. One of the outreach services that we do for parents and caregivers so that we're continuing that educational environment even outside the Head Start classroom. That also includes several Subparts, including services to pregnant women. And that goal gets us to the Target Area of Child and Family Outcomes. 1302.103 -- The implementation. And thus our tour of the Wheel. So we have maybe about two minutes left, whether social media or the audience. If you have any final questions or comments, social media, I'll open it up for you because we want to make sure you're engaged. If there any final questions.
Kate: Mostly the online community is saying thank you. Thank you for the great training.
John: Well, thank you for participating. I thank all of you. Again, this should be counted on as just the beginning. The power of this comes from you taking it back to your operations and working with it, seeing what systems, again, are working well, what systems can use improvement. With that, Kate, I know you're going to the back. Please see her if you want CEU credits. I thank you all for participating. This has been a very unique experience for me to be live streamed, so I'm hoping it was beneficial for all of you as well. Thank you very much. Enjoy the rest of the conference.Close
Learn more about the Head Start Management Systems Wheel—an important resource for Head Start program leaders. Discover the core elements of the wheel with a focus on how each of the wheel’s components relate to the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Explore how guiding questions can serve as an ongoing systems-building resource for Head Start grantees, which is key to moving from compliance to excellence. This session also reviews ECLKC resources that help in using the systems wheel.