It's a first in Nebraska and a pioneering venture in the world of early childhood education. Eleven school districts in the Learning Community are all working together to build a better system of early learning in the Omaha metro area. This comprehensive approach, from birth to grade three, is built around the children in our community who have the greatest educational needs.
Learning Community superintendents understand that more children across the Omaha metro are growing up in areas of concentrated poverty. With a more systematic response to insure healthy child development, we'll see more children succeed in school and life. Buffett Early Childhood Institute leads plan development and implementation.
There is no formula for helping 11 school districts work together, but the science of brain development tells educators what children need. You can be sure the roadmap for the Superintendents' Plan comes from a strong and established body of proven research. Our shared goal is to improve lives and reduce the achievement gap by increasing opportunities to learn.
The elementary school is the hub for all early childhood outreach. The first 12 school sites to implement the plan have the same important features:
Home visiting program
The plan builds a partnership with families of children from birth to age 3. The home visiting program supports learning and connects families to a community support network. Helping families means home and school can be great places to learn.
Children from lower-income homes sometimes experience higher levels of family stress and insecurity. Teachers work with 3- and 4-year-old children to promote powerful learning, strong language and social skills.Teaching teams also learn how important it is to appreciate a child's native language and culture.
Preschool through grade three aligned
For children to get the benefits of what they learn, they need consistency. That's why aligning curriculum and teaching teams from preschool through grade three is so important.
Dr. Samuel J. Meisels, Ed.D.
Buffett Early Childhood Institute
Dr. Samuel J. Meisels is a leading advocate of early learning and Buffett Institute founding director.
Chris Maxwell, Ph.D.
Buffett Early Childhood Institute
Director of Program Development
Chris Maxwell leads program implementation with an emphasis on quality and consistency.
The early learning curve across the Learning Community is steep and broad-based. Professional development opportunities bring all 11 school districts together to explore facets of a child's cognitive and social development.
The plan builds the foundation for early learning in training sessions that are open and welcoming. Teachers, caregivers and childcare providers learn new strategies along with principals, administrators and interested staff. Seven school districts are also participating in customized early childhood training and planning.
You're always welcome at council meetings held at the Learning Community Center of North Omaha. Our next meeting is Thursday, April 20. CALENDAR
Browse through helpful early childhood research for a better understanding of why it matters so much for children in poverty. MORE
Every school district is part of a Learning Community subcouncil. Find your representative here.
With 11 member school districts, we really can "share our learning."