ELNM Update Meeting

April 25, 2016

Approximately 75 individuals who are engaged in various aspects of New Mexico’s early learning system came together at the Indian Cultural Center in Albuquerque on April 25 to hear updates on projects initiated through the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge (RTT–ELC) grant and to share how best to move this work forward together.

NM Public Education Department Policy Director Matt Pahl opened the meeting with an overview on communications and how we are transitioning messaging from the grant to Early Learning New Mexico (ELNM). He noted that we are in process of sustaining the work that emerged from the $37.5 million RTT–ELC grant to, “Building the foundation where more children are ready for school, reading at grade?level, graduating from high school, and growing into engaged citizens and productive workers.”

The six-hour event included four panel presentations that reinforced how we are building the foundation. Each panel was followed by Q&A and working sessions for attendees to identify: how can we work together to best engage families, early childhood professionals and policy leaders in this work; opportunities this work presents personally and for their organizations; and what role they can plan in supporting its success and what they need to do it.

The presentations were video tapped and will soon be made available. “The plan is to include the links to the presentations in an upcoming e-newsletter and on the ELNM website so those in attendance can share the information with others in their community who may also benefit,” explained RTT-ELC Communications Manager Cathy Imburgia.

Each panel presentation provided updates on the work currently underway and intended outcomes towards building a strong foundation for New Mexico. Links to the four panel presentations are included below.

Supporting Schools in Meeting Each Child’s Needs: Through the Kindergarten Observation Tool (KOT), assessing school readiness to understand individual child needs at the beginning of kindergarten and provide early interventions for positive learning outcomes.

Investing in Communities: Identifying where children are at the greatest risk and prioritizing services to meet needs in most needed areas.

Promoting Accountability: Developing a system that integrates data from across early learning programs serving young children to measure child outcomes over time and to enable planning for early learning investments in student improvements.

Raising Quality:  Ensuring a highly qualified and skilled workforce to best support children’s optimal development; and implementing FOCUS, a rating system that allows parents to identify high quality programs and supports early learning providers to improve quality.