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Feds to study successes at Earl Boyles, Early Works

low 2014-09-12 011Earl Boyles Elementary, home to the Early Works initiative for the past four years, will be one of five sites in the nation that federal researchers will be studying to learn more about how schools are successfully sustaining the positive effects of preschool through third grade.

Representatives with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services informed David Douglas School District and Early Works leaders of the study in a letter to them earlier this month. “We are interested in learning more about the Early Works Initiative at Earl Boyles School and how it incorporates PK-3 alignment strategies, family supports and technology as support strategies through grade 3,” the federal officials wrote. “We also want to better understand the theoretical or practical background of the program, how it is implemented, how it is sustained and resourced, and the program’s outcomes.”

The Early Works initiative – with sites at Earl Boyles and in Yoncalla – focuses on implementing effective early childhood services that are integrated and aligned with elementary schools. Its goal is to bring parents, educators and the community together to help ensure students are ready for kindergarten and for success in third grade and beyond.

The work has brought positive results for Earl Boyles students, in the school’s preschool and its early grades.

“"Hopefully, what this study does is confirm the results and the benefits that we're seeing at Earl Boyles," says David Douglas Superintendent Don Grotting. "We know we’ve got to get to these kids when they're young, to lift them up and eliminate the achievement gap before it has a chance to open. We think the benefits of early childhood education ripple all the way through K-12, diminishing the need to intervene with kids after it's almost too late.

"If studies like this can really show those benefits, it might just loosen up more funding on the state and federal level to expand early learning, especially for families in poverty and the underserved."

Earl Boyles Elementary Principal Ericka Guynes says she and the school’s staff are honored Earl Boyles was selected for the study. She adds: “My hope is that the study will identify practices that eliminate barriers for our youngest learners and families so all students can reach their highest potential for learning.”

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