Employment & Education

The Employment and Education Division carries out the essential function of helping the youth for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation.

Curriculum and Assessments

Curriculums
A balanced and integrated use of a few parent and staff selected curriculums which will enhance the core cultural framework will serve as the Colville Tribes Head Start educational curriculum plan.

Creative Curriculum
The Creative Curriculum is based on an extensive range of developmentally appropriate goals and objectives to support children s growth and learning from Nursery through to Kindergarten. Developmental continuums are used to monitor the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive and language abilities of each child. The Creative Curriculum learning objectives are linked with the Primary Years Program transdisciplinary skills. Tribal Head Start teachers use the Creative Curriculum to (1)plan experiences, (2)establish the learning environment, (3)cater for individual differences, and (4)closely monitor each child's development.

Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum
Intergenerational Trauma brings with it a great degree of violence which has been internalized and externalized by Tribal members. In order to begin the process of community and family healing we must reach out to our children and provide them with the necessary tools to increase their self-awareness and develop effective interpersonal relationship skills. Our Tribal culture emphasizes the sacredness of relationships and the honoring of emotions. This curriculum supports Tribal values and cultural practices and will be customized to fit our program. As students get older, their abilities to solve their own problems improve. Second Step is an intervention tool that addresses violence prevention through the development of empathy, problem-solving skills, and anger-management techniques. Improving these skills can help all children strengthen their coping skills, thereby increasing their self-esteem and their ability to get along with others, including teachers, peers, and family members.

Primary Reservation Alcohol/Substance Education Curriculum (P.R.A.S.E)
P.R.A.S.E. curriculum is locally developed by the Skokomish Tribe of Washington State and field tested by the Skokomish education staff and at various other Reservation sites in Washington State. The P.R.A.S.E. curriculum was designed for use in group settings: school, community, and recreation programs for high risk Indian youth ages 3-7. The primary purpose of the curriculum is to teach alcohol awareness and prevention to reduce their future use of drugs and alcohol and enhance their coping skills allowing them to deal with issues on their own level. The program consists of five components which address the cognitive learning styles of Native American children. The stories use animal characters which are universally familiar to all Indian children and are used to impart the lesson being taught, in this case information about alcohol awareness, use and abuse of alcohol and its effects. The pre and post activities use visual and hands-on activities which enhance the learning styles and retention of young children. They also coincide with standard early childhood methods by providing activities for children to learn by doing, seeing, being involved, and through repetition.

High Reach Learning Framework Curriculum
Framework preschool curriculum creates monthly, theme-based curriculum programs. This flexible curriculum focuses on a wide-range of readiness skills and supports Head Start Performance Standards. Observation, assessment, and individualization tools assist in achieving learning goals. Each month is designed around a theme, with related concepts and skills woven into the theme, and each day of that month has suggested activities. In order to provide a well-rounded curriculum, Framework introduces specific skills and concepts each month, such as colors, numbers, shapes, letters, and more.

Assessment and Individualization
The focus of the Colville Tribes Head Start is to meet and exceed the required areas of assessment and individualization. We strive to ensure that each child will have a successful experience developmentally on an individual and group basis while enrolled with our program. Following is a summary of the assessment tools Head Start uses.

Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum
Developmental continuums outline the sequence of steps children go through as they progress towards mastery of specific skills and objectives. Children do not master skills at identical rates or times in their development. Using continuums allows for these individual differences. Through ongoing observations teachers determine where each student is along the continuum, and then provide specific support and experiences to enable the child s further development. Developmental continuums foster a positive approach to teaching and learning, emphasizing what a child can do and providing a useful planning tool for the next stage of development.

Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA)
The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) is a strength-based, strong family involvement approach for building resiliency in children 2-5 years of age. Strong emphasis is placed on building supportive environments. It is a standardized, norm-referenced behavior rating scale evaluating within-child protective factors in preschool children aged two to five. Completed by family members or early care and education professionals, the DECA evaluates the frequency of 27 positive behaviors (strengths) exhibited by preschoolers. The DECA assessment instrument facilitates an improved communication between parents and teaching staff in order to enhance individualization of instruction.

Ongoing Child Observations
Observations in the classroom are undoubtedly occurring all the time. However, to be of value they need to be carried out in a systematic and manageable fashion. Classroom observations are distinct from observed communicative activities in that they are always informal and involve the teacher making observations of normal classroom activity and behavior. Teachers often do this immediately after setting a task to ensure that students have understood the instructions, etc. Parent interviews are included here as they provide teachers with an additional means to observe students outside of the classroom thereby giving a more comprehensive assessment of progress and need.

Teachers, in conjunction with classroom aides and parents, will compile data about the child(ren) enrolled in the program. Additional forms of data collection will come from screening tools, as well as, health histories and parent interviews. Additional Screening/Assessment Tools:

  • Comprehensive Identification Process (CIP) Screen or Denver
  • Child Health and Sensory Screening Results
  • Child Health History and Parent Interview Forms

Individualization in the Classroom
The Colville Tribes Head Start staff is aware that children grow and learn at individual rates, demonstrate different intelligences and express various learning styles. Opportunities will be provided for children to learn through group and individual experiences with special attention being paid to their unique way of perceiving the world and demonstrating knowledge. Staff will develop an individual profile for each child on the Individual Planning Form using the following information:

  • Comprehensive Identification Process (CIP) Screen or Denver
  • Child Health and Sensory Screening Results
  • Child Health History and Parent Interview Forms
  • DECA Assessment
  • Ongoing Observation in the classroom

The Head Start teacher and classroom aide, in conjunction with the child(ren) s parents, will plan activities for the classroom to meet the needs of individual children using the Individual Lesson Plan Form (ECE Specialists and Family Service Specialists must sign). The Individual Lesson Plan for each child will be developed four or five weeks after the start of classes by the teacher and classroom aide and will be updated on a monthly basis. The lesson plan will be reviewed monthly for the achievement of goals and whether there is a need to establish new goals. Parental concurrence will be sought whenever goals are identified. (ECE Specialists and Family Service Specialists must review and sign). The Individual Lesson Plan process will continue as part of the Head Start curriculum throughout the school year until the month of June. Teachers will work in conjunction with parents to plan transition lesson plans for the months of June, July, August that the parents will implement during the summer months

Program Educational Parameters
The Colville Tribes Head Start Program is comprised of four center-based early childhood education centers located in four separate districts on the Colville Indian Reservation. Currently, children are served half-day on a three quarter academic schedule. It is our hope to begin moving toward full-day services by 2006-07. Our funded enrollment is 115 preschool children.