In The Know November 2020

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Six women and a child in a zoom session.

Congratulations to our SPSCC crew. SPSCC submitted the winning name for our newsletter. Our newsletter will now be called In The Know!

Congratulations to our Food Service Delivery team on a well-deserved Spirit Award from our All Staff Event! Many of us have heard the gratitude from our families. We want you to know that we are also grateful and appreciate your hard work. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for helping support families now and always.

What’s New in General?

Dates to Remember

The ESD building will be closed November 11 for Veterans Day and November 26 and 27 for Thanksgiving.

COVID Updates

The Early Learning COVID Re-Opening taskforce includes:

  • Program Directors
  • Center Directors
  • Center Staff
  • Specialists
  • Operations 

Our Early Learning Covid Reopening Taskforce meets weekly to review the latest guidance from state and federal agencies including DYCF, R10, OHS, OSPI, ESD 113, and DOH. Their guidance shapes how we safely support our children, families and staff during this pandemic. We are currently working in a remote learning model, but we are in the initial planning stages of developing the framework for a hybrid model. Families will be able to choose the learning model that suits them best. 

In a hybrid model, students would attend two days face-to-face and two days online in small cohorts.  Staff will be given three weeks’ notice and training before the program changes to a hybrid model. 

Review the latest flowchart update from Thurston County Public Health and Social Services and Thurston County Schools.


Our program has a Facebook page, and we’d like to invite everyone to contribute. How? Glad you asked! 

We are building our page and audience by sharing more than just information about our program. We share posts including: 

  • Community resources
  • Free, non-holiday local events
  • Support information for families, teachers
  • Food service recipes*
  • Art and sensory recipes and experiences*
  • Curriculum content *
  • Curriculum information
  • Articles on topics of interest (e.g., health, nutrition, preschool, parent education)
  • Inspirational quotes

*We love to showcase our students! If you have a photo to share, check the child’s E-07 and make sure to ask the student’s family for permission to share. Record the family’s response in your Communication Log.

We encourage all staff to follow and like our program Facebook page for the latest updates on our program. To protect your privacy, our organizational account does not follow any personal accounts. Please email any content you would like to share to Administrative Secretary Daniella Saint. 

Policy, Advocacy, and Legislative Updates

WSA Updates

Selected DYCF events and resources of note

Selected Region 10 T/TA events and resources of note

 Office of Head Start resources

What’s New For Center Directors?

Please in your procurement cards and summaries every week, and don’t forget to submit your food receipts and shopping lists weekly to Christina and Kim for processing.

What’s New In Education?

Monthly To-Do Lists And Deliverables

Use this checklist to ensure that you complete all required deliverables this month.

November Deliverables

  • GOLD Checkpoints due November 6
  • Center Conference #1 due November 24

Resources for Educators

  • ChildPlus: There have been a lot of changes to the way we enter data into ChildPlus.  This Google Doc provides a step-by-step guide.
  • Virtual teaching: Finding the new world of virtual teaching challenging?  Wondering how to maintain quality learning through a CLASS lens?  Take this needs assessment to help you identify where to begin, then connect with your Center Director and Coach for support.

Quotable Moment

What was your favorite moment this month?  Please share a special moment with your coach to add to next month’s newsletter. 

“Ok, this is what I look like when I am happy.  I look like this when I am adorable.  I look like this when I am excited.  I look like this when I am angry.  And, I look like this when I am sad.  Now, I feel happy today! Bye!” -Saphira

What’s New in Family Service/ERSEA?

Zoom meeting tip sheets

Center conferences & family SMART goals

Due November 24

Program Information Report (PIR) deliverables for November

Food Bank & Holiday Baskets

Check these links often.

What’s New in Health, Nutrition, and Safety?

In Health

Many children have reached 45 days of enrollment, the time frame where we would normally have completed our health screenings in hearing, vision, hemoglobin, and growth.While we are in distance learning, we will continue our efforts to coordinate screenings through medical providers. For any screening we have not yet been able to complete, please make a health event using the COVID-19 status. 

See the following guidance from the Office of Head Start: 

Will programs be granted additional time to meet health screening requirements? Can hearing and vision screenings be conducted virtually?

Programs should take actions that are feasible, reasonable, and safe in terms of continuing to provide services and implementing management and oversight systems. Programs will not be held accountable to meet timeline requirements that are not possible or reasonable for them to achieve during the 2020-2021
program year. 

Programs should maintain records of services they provided and those that were not provided. Programs can use the General Disaster Recovery Flexibilities IM from March 2019 to determine flexibilities in HSPPS requirements.

In gratitude,
Kristi Patnode, Health Services Specialist

In nutrition

October has passed and so has our USDA study month!  Thank you to each and every one of you who helped get signatures from parents on our CACFP enrollment forms. Don’t forget: if you have new enrollment, please have them complete a CACFP Enrollment Form and upload it into ChildPlus under the enrollments tab. 

In September, we served 11,305 meals and snacks to hungry children.  Way to go, everybody!  Remember that USDA attendance and meal counts need to be entered weekly.  If you need assistance with entering attendance please email me [email protected] and I will set up a time to walk you through the process.

What is food insecurity and what does it look like in America?

Food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food-insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time.  Food Insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods. (, 2020). To access more information about food insecurities or specifics about your area, click here.

Resources for families facing food insecurities:

Thurston County Food Bank Distribution

Grays Harbor County Food Banks

Schools & Organizations Providing Meals During COVID-19

November’s Feature Vegetable — Pumpkins and Winter Squash

Look for pumpkin or squash in our menu this month and share with families one of the bounties of the fall harvest season.

Pumpkin Newsletter for Families

Happy Fall,

Patricia Barret
Food Services Coordinator


What’s New In Mental Health?

Individualizing with DECA

  • Families will complete DECA-p2 during enrollment or after the first home visit.
  • When we go back to full-time, in-person services, teachers will do the teacher DECA-p2  after the child is in class for
    4 weeks.
  • Mental Health Specialists are here to offer support on the e-DECA web platform; difficulties with inputting DECA-p2 scores; and strategies reports to share with
  • Please reach out to your MHS for added support if you are falling behind on your e-DECA data collection and input. We are available for refresher training on how to find the DECA strategies that are appropriate for individualizing. Individualizing for areas of need on the DECA is a requirement. You will use the DECA strategies from the e-DECA site.
  • Plan individualized support based on DECA scores, using DECA strategies for each child with needs, weekly. Document in lesson plan with child initials by the activity.

Social and Emotional education

  • The PBIS at-home letter will go home after we get the Spanish copy back, along with a home matrix and family meeting template.
  • Second Step and CPU will be done weekly following the Second Step schedule. Second Step Module training will be done at the center. Your logins for Second Step and CPU are on the inside cover of your Second Step book. Home links will be sent home with educational packets.

Mental Health Specialist Support for families

  • Please let families know that they can get MHS Support for family needs, too! We are here for them! To start this process, please have the family fill out an A-77 with your center’s assigned MHS’s name on it.

Visuals & Social stories

  • Time to start thinking about creating step by step visuals and social stories for all the teaching we have in front of us.  Marin and Marian are here to support centers and classrooms in the creation of social stories.
  • Social Stories for wearing a mask are available by request, as well as, for how we will eat once back at the centers.
  • Share your ideas for social stories and needs around social stories with your Center Director and MHS. Center Directors have access to Boardmaker to support with individual student needs. Mental Health Specialists will support with Social Stories for program based needs and the needs of students on Behavior Support Plans.

PBIS Checklist

  • Follow all PBIS checklists before classroom opening. Follow through after we return to hybrid/in-person learning. 
  • Send PBIS at home letter with family meeting and at-home PBIS matrix. Explain to families how to use the resource.

Behavior tracking

  • First track concerning behaviors for 2 weeks with support from Center Director.
  • Then receive support from Center Director and Educational Coach on individualizing.
  • Finally, ask parent/caregiver to sign A-77 and fill out MH-01 to send to Mental Health Specialist.

Behavior support plans

  • Implement BSP and monitor the behavior.
  • Request support from MHS and CD to clarify any difficulties you are having with implementation of BSPs.
  • Monthly meeting with MHS, parent/caregiver, and Center Director to discuss successes and difficulties with the team. Make any plans necessary. Implement any new changes in the plan.

Distance/virtual Learning model

  • Second Step and CPU will be sent home with Home Links with families.
  • Sensory activities within the universal curriculum sent home weekly.
  • Connecting parent/caregiver with MHS when a family has needs. Sign A-77 before referral.
  • Request support with DECA Individualization from CD when you need support with individualization.

What’s New In operations?


October was the end of Head Start’s grant funding year. Please turn in all travel vouchers, receipts, reimbursement requests, and other documentation through October so that we can get these paid. November is the beginning of our new Head Start funding year! All center budgets start all over again. Welcome to a new year! 


We received our two new 2019 Microbird buses, now numbered HS 4 and 7. One of the buses has a single lift. If you are know anyone who might be interested in joining our driving team, please refer them. We will be placing booster seats into route buses and spares at our Elma bus facility the week of Oct. 26.