In 2014, Virginia received a federal Preschool Development Grant to improve access to high-quality preschool opportunities in high-need communities across the Commonwealth in a program known as VPI+. Winchester Public Schools was selected to participate and has focused on a number of high-quality system improvements, including the implementation of an evidence-based curriculum, coaching models, family engagement efforts and more.
Showcase PreK in VA is a program for the selected VPI+ programs to share best practices and to foster collaborative learning networks across the Commonwealth. Winchester Public Schools has been selected as a Showcase site on November 16, 8:00am – 2:00pm at Garland Quarles Elementary School. Educators across the state have been invited; visitors from Richmond, Madison County, Warren County, Lynchburg, Manassas, Page County, and more are expected to participate in the event.
The focus of the showcase will be Social Emotional Learning—Proactive and Responsive Approaches. Social emotional skills of preschools are still emerging developmentally so the application of these skills are intentionally crafted into their preschool experience, and embedded in rich, relevant ways. Visitors to the showcase will observe proactive strategies to assist regularly-developing students in expressing their emotions as well as responsive strategies for children exhibiting challenging behaviors – all within the context of the regular classroom.
The Winchester Preschool program has also been selected as a showcase on March 22 at John Kerr Elementary School and April 22 at a location to be determined (either Frederick Douglass Elementary or Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School).