Beginning Sunday, March 1st parents will be able to register their children for the 2015-2016 VPK Program. We wanted to inform you of a big change regarding VPK registrations! Beginning immediately, VPK registrations will be conducted online/electronically ONLY.
Parents will need to register their child on the Coalition’s website. Parents will need a scanner for uploading and converting their child’s proof of birth and their proof of residency to a PDF. Parents will also need a printer to print the child’s Certificate of Eligibility (COE) once the application has been approved. Because of this new requirement, our office anticipates a huge number of applications for the first couple of months. Our staff will work as hard as possible to approve the applications, but please advise your parents that their approval response could possibly take 3- 5 days.
Beginning Monday, March 2nd , our office locations will also be servicing parents who do not have the computer, printer or scanner access. Parents who walk into our offices will still be required to complete the application online and will be able to do so at our locations. They will need to bring all of the appropriate documentation with them. To help parents navigate the online process, there are a couple documents that you can direct them to or feel free to download them and pass them onto your parents if you’d like.
2013-2014 Kindergarten Readiness Rates
In previous years, VPK providers have been notified that the preliminary kindergarten readiness rates would be available for review during the month of December. The final rates were always published the end of February. This year, however, the calculation and publication of these rates will most likely be delayed. As many of you know, one of the two assessment tools, the FAIR-FS, used to screen kindergarten students was suspended on September 15, 2014 by State Education Commissioner, Pam Stewart. This action was taken as a result of many school districts throughout the State reporting they were experiencing many technical challenges administering this tool. With the suspension of the FAIR-FS, kindergarten teachers were only required to assess the children on one measure, known as the Work Sampling System (WSS), which replaced the ECHOS this year. The deadline for completion of the WSS was September 30th and the K-teachers were required to submit the results by October 31st.
In order to calculate a VPK provider’s kindergarten readiness rate, however, Florida Statute requires that kindergarten children be assessed using 2 measures of the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS). So, this presented a problem for Florida’s Office of Early Learning (OEL) as they were given the responsibility of selecting a second measure to be used in the calculation. As of today’s date, OEL will be using the VPK Assessment data results (AP 1 and AP2) from the 2012-2013 and the 2013-2014 (last 2 years) as the second measure. In anticipation of a more time consuming and complex process of calculating the 2014-14 readiness rates, the release of the preliminary and final rates will most likely be later than in previous years.
New VPK Assessment Requirements for 2015-2016
A new pre and post VPK Assessment will be required for the 2015-2016 VPK school year program. This is in addition to the current VPK Assessment (AP1, and AP3) that is already required. The new assessment is a result of a 2014 mandate that required Florida’s Office of Early Learning (OEL), to procure a pre and post assessment ensuring coverage of all domains in the Standards for Four Year Olds. Teaching Strategies Gold was selected as the new observational assessment. As of today’s date, the anticipated roll-out is as follows:
VPK applications will not be approved unless:
Below you will find links to the forms and materials you will need to submit a complete application packet. Providers should be aware that incomplete application packets will not be processed. Please use the Application Checklist to ensure that you have included all of the required forms and documentation in your application packet.
Many of the forms are editable PDF forms. If you need the latest version of Adobe, you may download it for FREE by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
PLEASE NOTE: All three (3) application forms have a new logo. Forms with the old logo will not be accepted.
If the application is incomplete or is missing documents, providers will be notified via email. Providers will have 5 business days from the notification date to re-submit documents. Re-submittal beyond the 5 business days could delay your application approval and possible start date. Once application packets are approved, providers will be notified of their approval and assigned a time to sign their VPK contract.
Completed application packets must be mailed or hand delivered to:
Early Childhood School Readiness Programs
9325 Bay Plaza Blvd., Suite 210
Tampa, Florida 33619
Faxes or altered documents (white out) are not accepted.
Appointments with Bay Plaza staff to review applications will be available by calling
(813) 740-4713 for an appointment.
TO PURCHASE A COPY OF THE STANDARDS, CLICK HERE.
TO DOWNLOAD AND VIEW A PDF VERSION, CLICK HERE.
In Florida, when the temperatures are in the low 80s, your car can heat up to over 100 degrees in just a matter or minutes! Know the dangers of leaving infants and toddlers in hot vehicles! Read more about our Look Before You Lock campaign and help raise awareness on this child safety issue!
The famous “word gap” doesn’t hurt only the young. It affects many educators, too.
February 16, 2015 – Washington Post
It will come as a surprise to Americans to learn that as many as 1 million state-licensed and nationally credentialed early childhood educators are at-risk for functional illiteracy
Strengthening early learning in a new ESEA
February 13, 2015 – EdCentral
There is almost no focus in the law on kindergarten through second grade, much less what comes before school entry, other than the allowance of Title I funds to be used for children from low-income families beginning at birth
Free children’s dental health program launched
February 16, 2015 – Suwannee Democrat
February is Children's Dental Health Month and the Florida Department of Health is working to promote good oral health for children and families through preventive care