Congratulations to Chariho Integrated Preschool on receiving a 5-Star rating!
Chariho Integrated Preschool began its participation with BrightStars in the fall of 2015 with a 2-Star rating. Under the direction of Lori Lambert, the dedicated work of the preschool staff and the support from Chariho Regional School District, Chariho Integrated increased to 5 stars right before the 2017-2018 school year began.
The Chariho Regional School District decided to join BrightStars to further enhance teaching practices, improve the children’s learning environment and increase opportunities to access funding for new materials. The program currently has 5 half day integrated preschool classrooms.
This 5-Star rating reflects the program’s high quality programming; from the utilization of a valid and reliable assessment tool for all of the children in the program, to a rich learning environment where children have opportunities to explore and learn with limited interference, to strong family communication and involvement. Classroom curriculum is based on the Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards (RIELDS). All teachers are dual certified in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education. The program provides a language-rich, nurturing learning community for students, ages three to 5 years of age. The classrooms proudly provide an inclusive setting where students of all abilities and backgrounds learn and develop positive social interactions. The teachers in the program are knowledgeable in the RIELDS and are skillful at planning high quality, developmentally appropriate experiences that promote growth in all areas.
Due to its participation with BrightStars the program applied and received various grants through Race to the Top Funding (which was facilitated through the Center for Early Learning Professional). This funding enabled Lori and the Chariho staff to purchase iPads and Teaching Strategies Goal (TSG) portfolios for child assessment purposes. They were also able to purchase new high quality furniture and materials for each classroom.
Participation has also impacted the quality of the program’s child assessment practices. Assessment is addressed by the utilization of a comprehensive portfolio system for each child in the preschool program. The students have a sense of ownership over the classroom, which fosters independence and encourages communication. A family handbook (that is given out during parent orientation) was developed as a way to improve family engagement.
On the most recent set of (ECERS) observations the program received significantly high overall scores. Programing, language and reasoning as well as interactions are worth noting as these concepts play a significant role in the experiences children receive on any given day. When asked how staff maintain these practices, Lori emphasized that the teachers believe in providing an environment that is caring, nurturing and supportive of positive social interactions each day for every child. The children have a sense of ownership and the classroom is designed to foster independence and encourage language skills. A priority is given to building expressive and receptive language skills for children with and without disabilities. Communication skills are always at the forefront of their daily activities. Staff read and share information from NAEYC articles to keep current on new developments and research.
Rhode Island’s Quality Rating and Improvement System is proud to award such a distinction to a public preschool program who is committed to Rhode Island’s children.