Early Childhood and Student Support Frameworks
Teaching & Learning Framework
Effective and high-quality early childhood educational programs include research and evidence-based curriculum, authentic assessment systems for children, and valid and reliable developmental screenings. The LYFE Program utilizes each of these components to support children's continuous growth and development, as well as to strengthen family partnerships.
Curriculum - All LYFE classrooms implement The Creative Curriculum, which promotes developmentally appropriate practices that respond to children’s strengths, interests, and needs. Teachers balance intentional planning and facilitation with a flexibility to respond to the changing interests and/or abilities of the children. Teachers also orient parents to the curriculum so they are aware of the learning experiences their children will be engaged in daily, as well as to support families in extending learning at home.
Assessment - Assessment is a continuous, ongoing process that identifies children’s developmental progress. GOLD online, assesses 38 objectives for development and learning and enables teachers to create a profile for each child. As a result, teachers are able to engage in data-driven lesson planning for both individual and groups of children. Classroom staff involve families in the assessment process by reviewing and discussing the data gathered, as well as ways to extend learning experiences at home.
Screening - Screenings quickly capture a glimpse of a child’s developmental status. LYFE utilizes the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) -- a valid and reliable developmental screening for children from one month to 5 ½ years. It is a tool parents complete in collaboration with LYFE staff, fostering and strengthening family and caregiver partnerships. Scores from the questionnaires help staff and parents identify potential concerns so that developmental delays can be prevented and/or more focused services can be provided.
Student Advocacy Framework
From the time a student expresses interest in enrolling in LYFE to the time they transition out of our program, there are key processes that are critical to their success. Our student advocacy and support practices are designed to ensure that student parents have positive and effective experiences -- socially and academically -- at every stage of their involvement with LYFE.
To ensure student parent success, our student advocacy and support framework is based on providing student parents with interactive, strengths-based engagement practices and tools, aligned with District 79's Social-Emotional, and College/Career Readiness Learning Standards as well as the LYFE Parenting Standards. Our licensed social workers implement student engagement practices such as facilitating weekly individual and group sessions, connecting student parents to quality referral services, and collaborating with school/community partners to ensure that our student parents stay on track toward graduation while successfully transitioning into parenthood.
The student engagement process is ongoing and collaborative in which the student parent is an active participant and encouraged to set high expectations for themselves. From assessing students' comprehensive needs at the start of each school year, to helping our students set long and short-term goals and plan for graduation, we work closely and consistently with students to help them meet their needs, as well as empower them to become advocates for them and their child.
As a result, student parents transition from LYFE prepared to sustain healthy families and attain post-secondary success.