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Sue Bush
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North Adams Public School Early Childhood Education Earns Accreditation

12:00AM / Tuesday, June 06, 2006

North Adams - Two city public school pre-school programs and the city's kindergartens have earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The NAEYC is a nationally known, well respected organization of early childhood professionals.

"We are proud to be accredited by the NAEYC and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards," said North Adams Public Schools Superintendent James E. Montepare. "NAEYC accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences."

Over 11,000 early childhood programs serving over one million young children are currently accredited by the NAEYC.

"In recent years, we've seen a growing number of child care and preschool programs earning NAEYC accreditation," said NAEYC Executive Director Mark Ginsburg in a prepared statement. "By earning accreditation, North Adams has become a leader in a national effort to raise the quality of early childhood education and to help give all children a better start."

Programs reviewed for accreditation must meet a wide range of criteria that speak to program quality. These include standards for the physical environment, health and safety practices, involvement of families in the education process,staff qualifications, and instructional quality.

As part of the evaluation process, the city's pre-kindergarten and kindergarten faculty completed an extensive self-study. NAEYC evaluators also spent several days observing North Adams programs and reviewing documents. Feedback about the city program provided by on-site evaluators suggests that quality of staff and instruction was particularly strong.

NAEYC created its' accreditation program in 1985 to set professional standards for early childhood education and to help families identify high quality childcare and early education programs.

Programs are accredited by the NAEYC for a five-year period.

Montepare said that to retain accreditation, city public schools must continue to review and improve their programs on a yearly basis.

"Continual improvement is our goal for the North Adams Public Schools. No matter how good we are, we're always looking for ways to be even better."
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