head start prepares for the start of new school year

Head Start Gears up for the First Day of School
Posted on 08/14/2017
Classroom Photo

As summer vacation comes to an end more than 3,700 preschoolers, infants and toddlers in El Paso and Hudspeth County’s Head Start program are headed back to school. For many of them, it will be their first classroom experience – one that can be a little bit intimidating.

“The first day of school is a special day for everybody. It’s a rush of excitement and nervousness,” said Sylvia Parra, Professional Development Program Manager.

The excitement carries over to staff at Region 19 Head Start as they attend professional development workshops and prepare to help ease the first day anxieties.

“It’s about invigorating our staff. And it begins with on-going, in-service that promotes personal and job specific skills. It’s about engaging our employees and creating an inspiring vision with clear goals,” Parra said. “Many of these sessions allow for staff to come together from all areas and levels of the organization, and solidify our mission.”

Center managers, family service workers (FSW) and clerks gathered at the centers to ensure center operation policies, procedures and processes were in place.

 “At Pete Duarte Head Start, I work closely with all staff to guarantee our center is ready to welcome children and families the best way possible,” Pete Duarte Center Manager Edna Ramos said. “This means making sure our bulletin boards are up-to-date, classrooms are supplied and organized, documentation is accurate, and we communicate with one another to meet the needs of our children and families.”

For Head Start center staff, the first day of school sets the tone. The moment children and families walk through the door and are greeted; they realize that lasting first impressions will be made.

“We want to make our children and families feel at home from the start – welcomed and safe. We want the first impression to be the best. A big smile, a handshake, and hello go a long way,” John E. Uxer FSW Maria Hurtado said. “Gaining their trust from the first day is very important to me and through constant communication I develop positive relationships.”

Some students will begin classes on Monday, Aug. 21, while others will begin Monday, Aug. 28. And for some preschoolers, three Head Start centers started classes Monday, July 31. 

First Day of School for Head Start Children

July 31st 

Socorro ISD Head Start Centers 
- CDC – preschool
- Socorro – preschool 
- Options – early and preschool

August 21st 

All El Paso ISD Head Start Centers 
Fabens ISD Head Start Center 
Clint ISD Head Start Center

August 28th

Socorro ISD Head Start Centers 
- CDC – early
- Socorro – early
Anthony ISD Head Start Center 
Canutillo ISD Head Start Center 
Ft. Hancock Head Start Center 
San Elizario Head Start Center 
Sierra Blanca Head Start Center 
Tornillo Head Start Center 
All Ysleta Head Start Centers

*Early children 0 – 36 months old **Preschool children 3 and 4 years- old