Members of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Coordinator Preschool Advisory Group (PCAG) gathered to discuss their priorities for the start of the new school year at their July 28 meeting.
PCAG was formed to advise the Office of Special Education and Early Learning (OSEEL) of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) on unmet needs and issues related to early childhood education funded by the state. Each of the group’s 10 members represents districts from the state’s five regional early childhood education centers.
PCAG Chair Whitney Stevenson led the discussion. One of the priorities was to identify how PCAG can help alleviate the workload of preschool teachers and staff.
Another priority for the group is to continue to involve families more in the education of their children, in particular through home visits by preschool teachers. The pandemic has, however, raised concerns about the safety of staff during home visits.
The group also anticipates more ripple effects from the pandemic, as the upcoming school year will bring in preschool students who grew up during the pandemic and in circumstances unique to previous students.
The group then discussed how to recruit new members for the PCAG. A two-year term limit for new members was recommended, and members stressed the need to have adequate representation from all regions of the state.
The group voted and approved that the regional training centers identify new members.
Andrea Bartholomew, head of KDE’s school readiness branch, also shared information about regional training center resources for teachers and encouraged members to contact new coordinators at training centers.