Contact Information
Carrie Somnis - OPK Director
csomnis@ncesd.k12.or.us
(541) 215-0974 Mobile

Jessie James - OPK/PSP Home Visitor/Family Advisor jesjames@ncesd.k12.or.us

541-797-9786 Mobile

Maggie Lowe - Director of Regional Support Reporting and Coach mlowe@ncesd.k12.or.us

Resource Links
Head Start
Oregon Head Start Association websites.

Our Preschools

The North Central ESD partners with several schools in Gilliam, Wheeler, and Sherman counties. Our programs strive to provide a high-quality preschool education experience to all students.

Arlington

Teachers: Peka Tutuvanu, Jayden Mustafic

Funding: Preschool Promise

Address: 1200 Main St Arlington, OR 97812

Wasco

Teachers: Amy Huffman

Funding: HeadStart

Address: 903 Barnett St, Wasco, OR 97065

Fossil

Teachers: Marie Mallory, Carolyn Mortimore

Funding: HeadStart, Preschool Promise

Address: 404 Main St, Fossil, OR 97830

Spray

Teacher: Amanda Chase

Funding: HeadStart, Preschool Promise

Address: 303 Park Ave, Spray, OR 97874

Mitchell

Teacher: Cindy Clubb

Funding: TBD

Address: 340 SE High St, Mitchell, OR 97750

Please Note: Condon Early Learning Center is overseen by UMCHS. For Head Start services in Condon, please contact Umatilla Morrow Head Start.

Pre-Kindergarten Services

We set high standards in all of our classrooms. In our classrooms we provide a learning environment that supports children’s growth and development, which includes:

Language and literacy

Cognition and general knowledge

Physical development and health

Social and emotional development

Approaches to learning

OPK emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher and builds relationships with families to support:

Family well-being and positive parent-child relationships

Families as learners and lifelong educators

Family engagement in transitions

Family connections to peers and community

Families as advocates and leaders

All services are designed to be responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage. NCESD is proud to partner with Head Start an Preschool Promise to have these services available in Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler Counties.

The North Central ESD secures grants from Preschool Promise and Head Start to fund local preschools. The funds are used to:

Pay teacher wages

Provide training

Curriculum

Classroom supplies/resources

Please be advised that if your student is not enrolled in HeadStart or Preschool Promise, you may be liable for paying tuition at some sites.

Head Start/OPK


What is Head Start & Oregon Pre-Kindergarten?

Head Start is a federal program that promotes school readiness of young children from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Oregon modeled Oregon Pre-kindergarten (OPK) after Head Start to expand high-quality early learning opportunities for the lowest income and highest need preschool children.

OPK is free to families from the period of prenatal to five years old and not yet eligible for kindergarten, and who meet income or other eligibility qualifications. Program services include:

Preschool education and early childhood development
Child health/mental health and nutrition
Parent education and family support

What to expect if your child is enrolled in Head Start.

  • 2 Home Visits with your child's teacher

  • 2 conferences with your child's teacher

  • Early Intervention screenings for speech, hearing, vision, height & weight

    • Please note these are also freely available to students not enrolled in the grant program or you may opt out

  • Access to parent education resources

For more information about Head Start, visit the Head Start and the Oregon Head Start Association websites.

Preschool Promise

What is Preschool Promise?

Preschool Promise (PSP) is a free, high-quality preschool program available to Oregon families who are living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in Oregon. The program serves children ages 3-5.

PSP expands access to culturally responsive early care and education (ECE) programs. By establishing an inclusive, welcoming environment for all families, PSP may engage parents as partners in their child’s learning and development. Preschool Promise is currently the only public early learning program in Oregon in which all materials are offered in English and Spanish, at a minimum. Several Preschool Promise programs are culturally specific and/or multi-lingual.


What to expect if your child is enrolled in Preschool Promise.

  • 3 conferences with your child's teacher annually

  • Early Intervention screenings for speech, hearing, vision, height & weight

    • Please note these are also freely available to students not enrolled in the grant program or you may opt out

  • Access to parent education resources

Parent's Forms

Link Library

  • Four Rivers Early Learning Hub

    4RELH works across the five sectors of early learning, health, human services, K-12 education, and private sector partners to ensure positive family outcomes.

    Working Together To Give All Children An Equitable Start

    Across Gilliam, Hood River, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler Counties, where children thrive in stable and attached families, enter kindergarten ready to engage in meaningful learning and live in communities where people work together with intention and purpose.

  • Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC)

    Office of Head Start (OHS) provides grant funding and oversight to the programs that provide Head Start services in communities across the country. This site contains resources for Parents, Providers and Educators, and Administration.

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children

    The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research.

  • Oregon Department of Education Early Learning Division

    Information from the Oregon Department of Education for Parents, Providers and Educators, and Administration including:

    Early Learning Council
    Early Head Start
    Head Start & Oregon Pre-K
    Healthy Families Oregon
    Preschool Promise
    Relief Nurseries
    Special Populations
    Vroom

  • North Central Public Health District

    North Central Public Health District is the only three-county local health department in Oregon serving Wasco, Sherman, & Gilliam Counties, all located in the Columbia Gorge region.

more