District striving to retain preschool program

March 4, 2017

NEEDLES — During the Needles Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting, on Feb. 21, an informational item was discussed regarding the Needles Head Start program.

“In January Laurie Decker, Debra Downey and myself put together a request for proposal (RFP) for Needles Head Start and we really looked into alternatives in terms of running our own programs,” said Mary McNeil, Ph. D., NUSD Superintendent.

“To be honest working with the Preschool Services Department of San Bernardino County (PSD) was the most cost effective option. This option met the timelines that we would need in terms of being able to ensure that we would have a program next year for our three and four year olds within the city of Needles. But we did complete the RFP and I drove it down personally, so we are still waiting to hear back from them.

“Our Head Start program used to be a three year program but now it’s only a two year program, I don’t know why that happened. We are going to continue to look at different ways and keep our options open to accomplish this goal. Preschool has been shown through many research studies to really have a significant impact on student success in school. My goal was just to make sure that we had a program next year for our little ones.”