Parents discuss Head Start audit review

HOUGHTON – Due to the BHK parent council not having a quorum, no official action was taken at Thursday night’s meeting in the BHK conference room.

However, Head Start/Early Head Start Director Cheryl Mills gave her report on recent developments at the school.

This week there was a desk audit which was the result of the Head Start On-Site Federal Review Team visit last April. Every three years, Mills said, Head Start sends in a federal team to look at the programming that’s done for Head Start and Early Head Start. The results of the review were received in September. The desk audit is a phone call to ensure that any issues found were resolved.

“They go through children’s files, make sure everything’s compliant,” Mills said. “They visit all the sites and do assessments of all the children and classroom environments.”

Two issues were found from the audit last April. At the Chassell Preschool playground, a landscaping tarp was exposed and thought to be a tripping hazard.

“We corrected it that day, but they don’t allow corrections that day. It all goes into the report,” Mills said.

The other issue found was that there was not a childhood representative on the board.

“We did have a pediatrician; they didn’t think that was good enough. We did have a staff member with a Master’s degree in education who attended every meeting, that wasn’t good enough.”

At the last month’s board meeting, former Copper County Intermediate School District teacher and supervisor Emilie Krznarich was appointed as the Early Childhood Representative.

“She’s got a background in elementary education, but she has an early childhood endorsement,” Mills said. “She did special education for years for the ISD. … She’ll be a great benefit to our board.”

In her report, Mills also discussed the enrollment for Head Start and Early Head Start, which are at full enrollment.

Great Start Readiness Program Early Childhood Specialist Elen Maurer also gave a report on GSRP funded spaces for children at BHK. As of now, all spaces are filled.

“We’re at full enrollment with 189 kids scattered through 15 different classrooms,” Maurer said.

Maurer also said now is the time to get the grant applications out and make sure they’re done accurately to ensure that the GSRP continues to receive funding.

Also heard at the meeting were reports from the BHK school representatives on what their children have been doing at their respective schools. The children are currently engaged in learning rhymes and arts and crafts.

The next BHK Parent Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 13.