NEWS RELEASES 2009-10 :: FEBUARY 3, 2010


U.S. Department of Education Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Early Learning Jacqueline Jones will address the State Board of Education Thursday morning around 9 a.m., and discuss the importance of Pre-K-Grade 3 education.

Dr. Jones' remarks will focus on the need for aligned curricula, standards and assessments in this critical period of development for children and the relationship such measures hold for their future success.

Office of School Readiness Executive Director John Pruette said, "It is critically important to strengthen this early learning continuum to leverage the gains children are consistently making in our state thanks to pre-kindergarten programs." Currently, More at Four Pre-kindergarten, Title I Preschool, Preschool Exceptional Children, EvenStart Family Literacy, and Head Start State Collaboration are coordinated within the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

Jones' remarks will dovetail with the NCDPI's announcement that it is partnering with the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to implement FirstSchool in demonstration sites across the state.

FirstSchool is a Pre-K-Grade 3 initiative to promote public school efforts to become more responsive to the needs of an increasingly younger, more diverse population. FirstSchool unites the best of early childhood, elementary and special education. In addition, the NCDPI is restructuring so that it can support the FirstSchool initiative and move toward supporting Pre-K-Grade 3 reforms for all local school systems with a primary emphasis on high needs districts.

The NCDPI also continues to build on its partnership with North Carolina's Smart Start initiative, which has been promoting the concept of "Ready Schools" and funding projects in several local communities with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The State Board of Education is holding its monthly meeting in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, 301 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh. For more information, please contact the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.