October 2020

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Name This Newsletter!

The contest for our new newsletter’s name is currently underway. Each center will submit their name for voting, with the final name decided by October 19. Look for the new official name on our November newsletter!

Coming soon: Deliverables/To-Do lists

What’s New in General?

Early Learning Program Monthly Newsletter

  • The program newsletter will be available online at the beginning of each month. You will also receive a notification via email each month when it is online. The newsletter serves as a guide to help you implement your work.
  • It is divided into sections that will give all staff important information about program-wide expectations and changes, professional learning, education, health, safety, nutrition, family engagement and support, mental health, and disabilities.
  • Read this publication each month.
  • The Deliverables/To-Do Lists will tell you what you must do on an ongoing basis for a specific month. Program leadership is working on this currently. The lists will be available for our November newsletter.

Policy, Advocacy, and Legislative Updates

COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

Early Learning COVID 19 Program Planning Guide on Remote Learning last changed on September 18, 2020. Please use this information to guide how you serve children and families.

We are developing Emergency Response Policies and Procedures to guide program services in the event of emergency situations or natural disasters. COVID-19 guidance will continue to change with new up-to-date information from the local health department, Governor, federal and state agencies as well as our ESD113 Leadership Team.

NAEYC Code of Conduct

Please read the 204 Code of Conduct and the Ethics Position Statement and return your signed 204 Code of Conduct to Joyce.

What’s New For Center Directors?


  • Hannah Ameen will leave us on September 30. She will be sadly missed! The Center Director position for Friendly Grove is posted on EDJobsNW.
  • Interviews for Teacher Yelm, TAHA Yelm, and TA Lacey have been completed and recommendations made pending reference/background checks.
  • We are still hiring for TA at Hawks Prairie, TA at West Oly, CSA at Lacey.

News from the Office of Head Start:

ACF-IM-HS-20-05 Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Monitoring Process for Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees indicates that the office of Head Start will not be conducting CLASS observations within our program this year. Once we return to in-person services, the program will evaluate what our internal CLASS Observations will be.

The Office of Head Start has updated the Program Information Report (PIR). Please visit Data and Ongoing Monitoring for updates.

What’s New In Education?

Welcome Back! Your Ed Specialist and Coaches are looking forward to supporting you as you help engage families in Distance Learning. If you have questions, check out the Expectations for Online Teaching document and email us if you need more information.

Due this Month:

Welcome our New Coach, Charro Vatne!

Charro Vatne “I’m excited to return to the Head Start program after teaching in the Rochester School District during the last five years. I’m passionate about early learning, and helping people of all ages achieve their goals.

  • B.A. from Kendall College: P-3 Dual Certificate: Education/Special Education
  • M.Ed. From Concordia University-Portland, Curriculum & InstructionTeacher Leadership

I’m looking forward to developing relationships and supporting the teaching teams in the program. Thank you!”

Who’s My Coach?

  • Holly Porter: Hawks Prairie, Lacey, Rainier, Washington Elementary
  • Charro Vatne: Friendly Grove, Rochester, SPSCC, West Olympia, Yelm

What’s New in Family Service/ERSEA?

Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! We are excited to support all your Family Service and ERSEA needs. Anne Rothert is the Parent Family Community Engagement Specialist. Tausha Jorgensen is the Program Data Coordinator and she supports ERSEA and ChildPlus for Sound to Harbor Early Learning Programs.

Family Service Resources

Child Plus Resources

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

Welcome to the school year 2020-21! I am here to support you with Health Services. Here are some things to know to get the school year started:

  • Continue to write food allergy/intolerance plans for children starting the program remotely as they are still receiving food services.
  • Start working on health plans to minimize any delays if they are needed in the future.
  • Immunizations still need to be checked, and up-to-date (or all they are eligible for), prior to starting school.
  • Please continue to encourage families to stay on track with preventative health appointments such as the well-child exam and regular dental exams. Providers are taking many precautions to make them safe, and this is the best way to keep immunizations up-to-date.
  • In most cases, health screenings such as hearing and vision will take place in the future. If a well-child exam includes these screenings, they are acceptable.

Please contact me with any questions. [email protected].

Also, flu season is almost here. The flu shot is available in many places, and usually covered by insurance. Here is some more information about the flu vaccine:

Kristi Patnode, Health Services Specialist

Nutrition Services would like to welcome everybody back to the 2020-21 school year. I am excited to see what adventures this year will bring and I am glad that each of you are along for the ride. Speaking of rides, our meals service looks much different this year than in years past.

Here is What Has Changed for Our Distance Model:

  • All meals are delivered to the home or picked up at the center by parents during the distance model.
  • All children receive Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack for the full week during the distance model regardless of the type of class they are scheduled for.
  • Meal Count is taken for the whole week upon delivery instead of daily during the distance model.

Here is What Has Stayed the Same:

  • Food plans are required before children receive a meal kit. Please work with your Health Staff to ensure all plans have the required signatures.
  • USDA meal pattern guidelines for CACFP must be met.
  • All children must complete a USDA Enrollment Form before October 31 to be counted on our study month.
  • USDA Attendance and Meal counts are required and must be entered into Child Plus no later than the first Friday of each month.

Nutrition Education:

To celebrate Farm to School month in October; Sound to Harbor will feature apples and pumpkins to show off the beautiful bounty our state has to offer:

October 7th our program will participate in The Great Washington Apple Crunch during our virtual community lunches. A reminder card will go home in education packets the week of October 5-9. See your common lesson plan for the document.

Students, families, and staff can also take selfies of their apple crunches and post it to #WAapplecrunch and #TasteWADay hashtags.

Later in the month, we will begin to explore pumpkins by enjoying pumpkin soup made by your center cooks. Dates are in your common lesson plan.

Remember to encourage “Try Me” or “Adventure” bites during community lunches.

For any questions related to meal service/delivery, USDA, or Nutrition Education activities please contact me at [email protected] or 360-464-6804.

Patricia Barret, Food Service Coordinator

What’s New In Mental Health?

  • Families will complete DECA-p2 when enrolling or during the first home visit.
  • If 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.
  • 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.
  • Please let families know that they can get Mental Health Specialist support! We are here for them!