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Tyler Independent School District announced it will not close down its Head Start program.

The district will continue grant-awarded Head Start wraparound services for qualifying students, while simultaneously providing pre-K learning models for all pre-K-eligible children, beginning with the 2019-20 school year, according to a statement issued by the district on Wednesday.

The pre-K model offers localized, enhanced instruction aligned with district goals and state of Texas standards.

“After dialogue with the Head Start office in Washington, it was confirmed Tyler ISD may implement its curriculum standards for all pre-K-aged students. There will be state-aligned instructional equity across the district as opposed to separate systems of instruction, which was the model formerly used,” Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford said in the statement.

“Conversations with Dr. Deborah Bergeron, director of Head Start, have assured Tyler ISD that the district can exercise local discretion with curriculum selection and professional development while utilizing Head Start grant funding to provide additional wraparound services. All students deserve the best educational curriculum and instruction possible, and if we can add family and student support on top, it’s a win-win for students, families and the district.”

The release said the district also plans to enhance attention to the Head Start initiative by identifying additional opportunities through the deployment of nurses, counselors, family engagement specialists, constituent services and other community resources at its neighborhood zoned schools.

According to the district, it believes the combination of Head Start, along with campus principals and faculty owning instructional inputs and outcomes, should assist in providing the beginning of a quality school experience with the ultimate goal of successful student outcomes.

For more information or to enroll a student in Head Start pre-K, pre-K or tuition pre-K, visit your student’s campus or tyler isd.org.

Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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