School Readiness Integration (SRI) Partnerships

  1. What is a School Readiness Integration (SRI) model?
  2. Can school districts contract with community-based organizations to provide public prekindergarten?
  3. How can the School Readiness Integration model assist school districts impacted by the requirement to serve military families and their prekindergarten students?
  4. What assistance is available for communities wishing to implement an SRI model?
  5. Do School Readiness Integration models address the needs of prekindergarten children with special needs such as PPCD under IDEA-B and bilingual education?
  6. If a child with a disability is served in an SRI model in a sliding scale, fee based, or tuition based licensed child care setting, how do we achieve the requirement that the program be at no cost to the parent?
  7. How do I identify an appropriate Head Start or child care center for an SRI partnership?

1. What is a School Readiness Integration (SRI) model?

A School Readiness Integration model can be described as a cost-effective way to develop an integrated approach to bring together school districts, child care providers and Head Start programs in a cohesive service model that dramatically improves early reading, math and social development.

In an SRI classroom, a school district positions a certified teacher in a Head Start or child care classroom to provide a minimum of three hours of daily instruction to eligible students using state-adopted instructional materials. Districts may receive ADA funds for eligible prekindergarten students, who are enrolled in the Head Start or child care classroom served.

The two key principles driving school readiness integration are (1) the preparedness of all children to enter kindergarten on or above grade level and ready to benefit from the full array of public education services to keep them on grade level in kindergarten and beyond; and (2) the development and implementation of a SRI model that is community-based and individualized in ways that best serve each community in the most effective and efficient ways to meet each community's needs.

Citation: TEC §29.158

2. Can school districts contract with community-based organizations to provide public prekindergarten?

Yes. Before establishing a new prekindergarten program, a school district shall consider the possibility of sharing use of an existing Head Start or other child-care program site as a prekindergarten site. To facilitate collaboration among district prekindergarten, licensed child care and Head Start programs, the agency has made available a manual for building community collaborations for early childhood care and education. CommunityBased School Readiness Integration Partnerships: Promoting Sustainable Collaborations.

Citation: TEC §29.1533

3. How can the School Readiness Integration model assist school districts impacted by the requirement to serve military families and their prekindergarten students?

School districts may enter into SRI arrangements with existing nonprofit child care centers currently located on military installations and operated by the military or with other local community-based child care providers who are serving children of military families. On-base centers have been funded 50% by the military service and 50% by tuition payments from parents. As with other community based child care centers, the center can continue to charge tuition for "wrap-around" care before and after public school services.

Citation: TEC §29.1533, TEC §29.158

4. What assistance is available for communities wishing to implement an SRI model?

To facilitate collaboration among district prekindergarten, licensed child care and Head Start programs, the agency has made available a manual for building community collaborations for early childhood care and education.

Citation: TEC §29.1533, TEC §29.158

5. Do School Readiness Integration models address the needs of prekindergarten children with special needs such as PPCD under IDEA-B and bilingual education?

Children with special needs such as PPCD under IDEA-B and bilingual education will be served as they are in regular prekindergarten programs. All regulations that apply to public prekindergarten programs will apply in other settings. It is expected that additional funds provided to districts to serve such students will continue to be used for the benefit of the child regardless of the setting in which the child is placed.

6. If a child with a disability is served in an SRI model in a sliding scale, fee based, or tuition based licensed child care setting, how do we achieve the requirement that the program be at no cost to the parent?

If the admission, referral and dismissal (ARD) committee determines this model is the least restrictive environment (LRE) necessary to provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) to a preschool child with a disability and in need of special education, it must be made available at no cost to the parent.

The district or the partner program may waive the cost otherwise charged to the parent in favor of the other benefits the arrangement brings the community. All arrangements must be designed to ensure the parent incurs no cost for the program must be described and agreed to in the MOU between the partnering entity and the district.

Citation: 71 Fed. Reg. 46540,46589

7. How do I identify an appropriate Head Start or child care center for an SRI partnership?

  • Prior to selecting and approaching community-based early childhood education providers for partnership purposes, the following steps are suggested:
  • Identify characteristics of your school district (urban, suburban, rural, consolidated, high need, etc.)
  • Estimate total classrooms needed for eligible prekindergarten age children on a zip code or census tract basis (eligibility in this case includes eligibility for prekindergarten, Head Start, and Child Care).
  • Survey total classroom space available for prekindergarten age children in all ISD, Head Start and child care sites, including child care centers on military installations.
  • Assess conditions and circumstances of buildings in which classroom space is available (ownership, terms and conditions of lease and use agreements, repair needs, estimated life of structures, etc.).
  • Estimate child turnover/mobility rates in child care (including military installations), Head Start and prekindergarten programs.
  • Identify existing Head Start program options (part day, full-day, partial year, full-year, home-based, etc.) and child care service delivery models (centers, centers located on military installations, family day homes, self-arranged care with family) that are currently in place, and the distribution of children currently within each of those.
  • Identify the number of people who are currently staffing classrooms serving prekindergarten age children and their qualifications.
  • Based on the information gathered, develop a strategy/action plan for approaching a prospective partner who will best serve the needs of your campus, district and community.

The process of going through the list will assist you in defining the characteristics of appropriate and eligible early childhood partners. It will also give you the information necessary to begin planning with prospective partners.

Contacts

Department of Federal and State Education Policy
512-936-6060

Program Contact:
Howard Morrison, howard.morrison@tea.state.tx.us