Frequently Asked Questions


Program Information

“Head Start is the most important social and educational investment in children, families and communities that the United States has ever undertaken (”. 

Shippensburg University has been operating the Shippensburg Head Start Program since 1971 as a component of the institution’s commitment to public service, as well as to provide University students in several degree programs the opportunity to apply classroom theory in a real-life community and family-based educational, human services organization.   The Program is governed by the Shippensburg University Council of Trustees, which has the legal and fiscal responsibility for administering the Program and shares decision-making with the Policy Council. Policy Council is comprised of no less than 50% of current Head Start parents who are elected by parents at the center level.  

The Shippensburg Head Start Program is funded to serve a total of 103 children who meet Federal Income Guidelines (40 children in Early Head Start Home-Base and 63 children in Head Start Center Base as of April 2021). The design and approach of the Shippensburg Head Start Program integrates researched evidence based practices, materials, curriculums, assessments tools, screening tools, parenting programs, trainings, performance standards and community support from various agencies to meet the needs of preschool children and their families. The Program provides services in three center-based classrooms (16-18 children each), and five Early Head Start home-based groups (caseload of ten families, as many as twelve children) in a service area encompassing the Shippensburg, Newburg, Newville, and Carlisle areas.

All children receive multiple screenings when they are enrolled so that the Shippensburg Head Start Program may develop a plan for success.  Some of the screenings conducted are cognitive, mental health, nutrition, health, speech and language. Parent engagement is an important part of the program.  The philosophy of the Shippensburg Head Start program is that the parent(s) is the child’s first teacher and the home is the primary learning environment with major goals to engage with the child’s parent(s) to provide an intentional education and social program throughout the day or home visit in order for the child to be successful in school and life.

The Shippensburg Head Start Program provides for the development of each child’s cognitive and language skills by providing opportunities and experiences in the areas of development in the following domains; language development, literacy, mathematics, science, creative arts, social/emotional development, physical health and development  and approaches to learning using research based curriculums.  

All enrolled children receive developmentally and culturally appropriate curriculum and learning environment. Benefits to children and families are an increase in physical, social/emotional and cognitive child development. The community wide benefit includes higher cognitive skills of children resulting in school readiness, more parents skilled at parenting, and more parents involved in their child’s education and prepared to advocate for their child. On the National level, Head Start has been making a difference in the lives of children and families for over 56 years. All Head Start Programs have the same stringent regulations and accountability not only to government but to their communities.  Head Start services are an investment in the future of children, families and communities. 

Pre-K Counts is an early childhood program that provides high quality pre-kindergarten services to at-risk children within the state so they are prepared for school success.  Pre-K Counts uses the Creative Curriculum which focuses on: Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, Language and Literacy Development, Physical Development and Health, Cognition and General Knowledge (the academics).  A mental health curriculum, Second Step for Early Learning, is also used.

Children between age four and the entry age for kindergarten are eligible.  Eligible families can earn up to 300 percent of the poverty level.  Priority is given to the most at-risk children in the community.

Our Pre-K Counts Programs are "housed" within the Shippensburg Area School District (Nancy Grayson Elementary and James Burd Elementary), Big Spring Area School District (Newville Elementary), Carlisle Area School District (Hamilton Elementary and Mount Holly Springs Elementary) and South Middleton School District (W.G. Rice Elementary).  

What Can I Expect From a Pre-K Counts Classroom?

  • Lead Teacher with the education and expertise to teach young children, teacher assistant, and para-educator.
  • Small class size (15-18 students) giving your child plenty of one on one time with teachers.
  • Curriculum that will help your child grow academically and socially.
  • Regular review of your child’s progress as well as, teaching/learning activities that best fit your child’s needs.
  • Help adjusting to pre-kindergarten and smooth the transition to kindergarten. 

Head Start Curriculum

Our Philosophy

The philosophy behind our curriculum is that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn't just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in.

In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling, and looking).

In using real materials such as blocks and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors, and they notice relationships between things.

In time, they learn to use one object to stand for another. This is the beginning of symbolic thinking. For example, they might pretend a stick is an airplane or a block is a hamburger. These early symbols - the stick and the block - are similar in shape to the objects they represent. Gradually children become more and more able to use abstract symbols like words to describe their thoughts and feelings. They learn to "read" pictures which are symbols of real people, places and things. This exciting development in symbolic thinking takes place during the pre-school years as children play.

  • Play provides the foundation for academic or "school" learning. It is the preparation children need before they learn highly abstract symbols such as letters (which are symbols for sounds) and numbers (which are symbols for number concepts). Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum. Play is the work of young children.

The Goals of Our Curriculum

The most important goal of our early childhood curriculum is to help children become enthusiastic learners. This means encouraging children to be active and creative explorers who are not afraid to try out their ideas and to think their own thoughts. Our goal is to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive learners. We're teaching them how to learn, not just in preschool, but all through their lives. We're allowing them to learn at their own pace and in the ways that are best for them. We're teaching them good habits and attitudes, particularly a positive sense of themselves, which will make a difference throughout their lives.

Our curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development,

  • Social: To help children feel comfortable in school, trust their new environment, make friends, and feel they are a part of the group.
  • Emotional: To help children experience pride and self-confidence, develop independence and self-control, and have a positive attitude toward life.
  • Cognitive: To help children become confident learners by letting them try out their own ideas and experience success, and by helping them acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, ask questions, and use words to describe their ideas, observations, and feelings.
  • Physical: To help children increase their large and small muscle skills and feel confident about what their bodies can do.
  • Language and Literacy:  To help children develop their ability to listen, understand (receptive language) and use language (expressive language) which are essential to children’s learning.

The activities we plan for children, the way we organize the environment, select toys and materials, plan the daily schedule, and talk with children, are all designed to accomplish the goals of our curriculum and give your child a successful start in school.

For more information on The Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood, please contact,

Teaching Strategies, Inc.
Post Office Box 42243
Washington, DC  20015
(800) 637-3652, (202) 362-7543
(202) 364-7273 [FAX]

Children are aware very young that color, language, gender, and physical ability differences are connected with privilege and power. They learn by observing the differences and similarities among people and by absorbing the spoken and unspoken messages about those differences. Racism, sexism, and disabilities have a profound influence on their developing sense of self and others.

The "practice of freedom" is fundamental to anti-bias education. Curriculum goals are to enable every child: to construct a knowledgeable, confident self-identity: to develop comfortable, empathetic, and just interaction with diversity: and to develop critical thinking and the skills for standing up for oneself and others in the face of injustice.

Anti-bias curriculum embraces an educational philosophy as well as specific techniques and content. It is value based: Differences are good: oppressive ideas and behaviors are not. It sets up a creative tension between respecting differences and not accepting unfair beliefs and acts. It asks teachers and children to confront troublesome issues rather than covering them up. An anti-bias perspective is integral to all aspects of daily classroom life.

For more information about the Anti-Bias Curriculum, please contact,

National Association for the Education of Young Children
1834 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20009-5786
(800) 424-2460

The SECOND STEP early learning program is designed specifically for multiple-age early learning classrooms. The program is taught through 28 weekly themes, consisting of short activities to be done throughout the week. The activities build on each other to develop children’s self-regulation skills and social-emotional competence.

Skills and lessons children learn in the program include:

Skills for Learning Training

  • Listening
  • Focusing attention
  • Using self-talk
  • Becoming assertive


  • Identifying one's own and others' feelings
  • Taking others' perspectives
  • Showing care and concern for others

Emotion Management

  • Understanding strong feelings
  • Identifying one's own strong feelings
  • Calming down strong feelings

Friendship Skills and Problem Solving 

  • Making and keeping friends
  • Calming down and using problem-solving steps

Transitioning to Kindergarten

  • Reviewing program skills and concepts
  • Thinking about how skills and concepts will help in kindergarten

Home Links letters are sent to families on a weekly basis throughout the presentation of the Second Step curriculum. Home Links letters include information about what children are learning and tips on how parents and caregivers can help their children use the new skills.

For more information on Second Step for Preschoolers, please contact:

Committee for Children
172 20th Avenue
Seattle, WA  98122
(800) 634-4449
(206) 322-5050

Through this curriculum, children are taught safety rules to use with things and safety rules to use with people.  The first section includes traffic, fire, and water safety.  The second section teaches children safety rules to use with older people regarding talking, touching and feelings.  Most families have their own safety rules dealing with these topics. This curriculum encourages children to learn and apply their family safety rules.

The children will be learning a number of skills to use when applying their family safety rules. The children will learn to:

  • Recognize unsafe situations in their environment.
  • Recognize potentially unsafe situations involving people.
  • Determine safe and unsafe touch.
  • Assert their ability to say "no" to unsafe situations and touches that are unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • Tell someone about unsafe situations and unsafe or uncomfortable touches.

For more information on Talking About Touching, please contact:

Committee for Children
172 20th Avenue
Seattle, WA  98122
(800) 634-4449
(206) 322-5050

Color Me Healthy is a program developed to reach children ages four and five with fun, interactive learning opportunities on physical activity and healthy eating.

It is designed to stimulate all of the senses of young children: touch, smell, sight, sound, and, of course, taste. Through the use of  color, music, and exploration of the senses, Color Me Healthy teaches children that healthy food and physical activity are fun.

For more information on Color Me Healthy, please visit:

Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework

The Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (HSELOF) provides Head Start with a guide for planning and implementing a comprehensive, yet focused, learning program.


Guiding Principles for School Readiness

  • Each child is unique and can succeed.

  • Learning occurs within the context of relationships.

  • Families are children’s first and most important caregivers, teachers, and advocates.

  • Children learn best when they are emotionally and physically safe and secure.

  • Areas of development are integrated, and children learn many concepts and skills at the same time.

  • Teaching must be intentional and focused on how children learn and grow.

  • Every child has diverse strengths rooted in their family’s culture, background, language, and beliefs.


The Framework is organized as follows:

  • Approaches to Learning

  • Social & Emotional Development

  • Language & Literacy

  • Language & Communication

  • Literacy

  • Cognition

  • Mathematics Development

  • Scientific Reasoning

  • Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development



For more information please visit


Screenings will be completed on each child within 45 calendar days of the child's first day of service delivery. Children will be screened in the areas of social/emotional, cognitive, language/literacy, and physical development, as well as a health screening. Such screenings are a mandate by the Head Start Performance Standards.

Screenings Used:

  • Speech/Language
  • Brigance (Developmental and Mental Health) [Head Start]
  • Ages and Stages [Early Head Start]
  • Vision
  • Hearing


Assessments occur throughout the learning process during the entire school year.  Children are assessed in social/emotional, cognitive, language/literacy, physical areas of development, as well as the educational content areas. Assessments are used to provide feedback to the teachers so that further instruction can be revised and/or developed.  Formal assessments are completed on each child three times a year: fall, winter, and spring.

Assessment Used:

  • Teaching Strategies GOLD


Referrals to outside agencies for further evaluation are based off of screening and assessment results, as well as regularly conducted observations. Various outside agencies include, but are not limited to, mental health consultants, LEA (CAIU), and physicians.

Five Things You Can Do to Support Brain Development

  • Talk with your child.
  • Read to your child every day.
  • Sing children's songs or nursery rhymes.
  • Feed your child well.
  • Provide a stable, loving environment.


Developmental Activities

Motor Skills

  • Imitation activities encourage visual attention and concentration as well as body awareness and control
  • Movements to develop large muscle control and coordination
  • Activities teaching about different parts of the body
  • Knowledge of spatial relationships helps to prepare children for following directions in school
  • Right-Left activities provide experiences that will firmly establish the concepts of left and right


Visual Skills

  • Activities to strengthen your child's ability to focus on and follow moving objects
  • Activities to help your child recognize similarities and differences in pictures, shapes, and everyday objects
  • Visual memory games will help your child improve their ability to remember what he or she has seen
  • Activities to encourage development and control of small muscles and to strengthen eye-hand coordination


Listening Skills

  • Activities to stimulate awareness of sound and sound patterns - important in the development of reading readiness
  • "How many?"
  • "Copy Cats"
  • Following directions, storytelling, and memory
  • "Putting it all together"


Speech and Language Development

  • Activities to help your child describe objects and events
  • Activities to help your child understand and talk about categories
  • "Go-together games" will help your child learn about word associations through seeing and talking
  • Sound activities will help your child develop articulation that is appropriate for his/her age


Easy Things You Can Do at Home to Raise Readers

  • Read to your child every day. Make it a special time when you both can relax, snuggle, and enjoy some good books.
  • Build a home library and fill it with your child's favorite titles.
  • Sing nursery rhymes and fingerplays to introduce an awareness of speech sounds and patterns.
  • Visit your local library on a regular basis and borrow a wide range of books and audio materials. Take part in activities the library provides for young children.
  • Use words to describe aloud what you are doing or what you see around your house and community.
  • Learning depends on repetition. It is good when children ask for favorites to be read again and again.
  • Encourage your child to "read" picture books to you.
  • Be a good role model by reading for enjoyment and information yourself.
  • When reading aloud, use lots of expression, different voices and sound effects when appropriate.
  • Read books that play with language such as poetry, tongue twisters, rhymes, and riddles.


Encourage Writing

  • Remember that your child's spellings will look unusual at first because pictures will stand for letters and then letters will stand for words and then sounds as they progress as a writer. For example, "s" may stand for silly, but "s" will soon stand for the "s" sound in silly when they can hear more sounds in the word.
  • Focus more on what your child is trying to write because accuracy is NOT the goal in preschool. The child's motivation and desire to write is what matters in at this stage.
  • Bring along paper and crayons everywhere you go - encourage drawing and writing what's happening around you!
  • Write notes to each other - put a note on a pillow or in a backpack.
  • Email a family member - note writing and typing emails will help your child recognize letters and learn how to organize their thoughts.
  • Write outside - use chalk or paint to create signs for things your child is doing during play. For example, make a grocery store sign together and label food with prices... you can even make an "open" and "closed" sign together!

Head Start Classroom Information

Shippensburg Home Base

Shippensburg University's Cora I. Grove Spiritual Center

Hours of Operation

  • Two monthly Socializations held on alternate Wednesdays (dates subject to change based on Program closures and Home Visitor availability)
  • Hours: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Classroom Staff

  • Home Visitor:   Miss Ashley Mayeski
  • Home Base Assistant:  Miss Tabitha Weigle
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Shirley Bishop

Shippensburg University's Cora I. Grove Spiritual Center

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Teacher:   Miss Christine Frey
  • Assistant Teacher:   Miss Berylee Kreigline
  • Para-Educator:   Miss Sherrie Calaman
  • Family Development Specialist: Miss Shirley Bishop 

Newville Center

Newville Elementary School

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Thursday - 9:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. 

Classroom Staff

  • Lead Teacher:   Miss Amy Freeman
  • Assistant Teacher:   Miss Amanda Tritt
  • Paraeducator:  
  • Family Development Specialist:  

Carlisle Center

LeTort Elementary School

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Thursday - 9:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Classroom Staff

  • Lead Teacher: Miss Lydia Lascano-Messersmith
  • Assistant Teacher: Miss Nikki Beers
  • Paraeducator:   Miss Caitlyn Hair
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Jessica Tomblin

Early Head Start Classroom Information

Hours of Operation

  • Two monthly Socializations held on alternate Tuesdays (dates subject to change based on Program closures and Home Visitor availability)
  • Hours: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Classroom Staff

  • Home Visitor (Explorers):   Miss Beth Brubaker
  • Home Visitor (Adventure Kids):   Miss Doris Kibler
  • Home Base Assistant:  
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Shirley Bishop

Hours of Operation

  • Two monthly Socializations held on alternate Wednesdays (dates subject to change based on Program closures and Home Visitor availability)
  • Hours: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Classroom Staff

  • Home Visitor (Investigators):   Miss Kandy Hayes
  • Home Visitor (Discovery Kids):   Miss Amy Reed
  • Home Base Assistant:  
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Jessica Tomblin

Pre-K Counts Classroom Information

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Teacher:   Miss Angie Wood
  • Teacher's Assistant:   Miss Karen McClintock
  • Paraeducator: Miss Heather Kauffman
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Jessica Tomblin

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Teacher:   Miss Terri Yocklovich
  • Assistant Teacher: Miss Linda Walsh
  • Paraeducator: Miss Danielle Haulman
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Jessica Tomblin

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Lead Teacher:   Miss Bridget Gasper
  • Assistant Teacher: Miss Hannah Payne
  • Paraeducator:   Miss Katelyn Weidner
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Jessica Tomblin

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Lead Teacher: Miss Heather Myers
  • Assistant Teacher: Miss Katelin Bittinger
  • Paraeducator: Miss Evelyn Sagastume
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Jessica Tomblin

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Teacher:   Miss April Green
  • Teacher's Assistant:   Miss Angie Doudrick
  • Paraeducator:  Miss Marty Mutterspaugh
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Shirley Bishop

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Lead Teacher: Miss Kirsten Shields
  • Assistant Teacher: Miss Megan Diehl
  • Paraeducator: Miss Jennifer Ursitz
  • Family Development Specialist:   Miss Shirley Bishop

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Teacher: Miss Wendy Lee
  • Assistant Teacher: Miss Sabrina Fox
  • Paraeducator: Miss JuliAnna Koontz
  • Family Development Specialist:  Miss Shirley Bishop


Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Lead Teacher: Miss Cheyenne Delp
  • Assistant Teacher:   Miss Michaelann Rutter
  • Paraeducator: Miss Jennifer Dillon
  • Family Development Specialist:  Miss Shirley Bishop

Shippensburg University's Cora I. Grove Spiritual Center

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • This Classroom operates year-round.

Classroom Staff

  • Teacher:   Miss Ashley Mayeski
  • Classroom Assistant:   Miss Tabatha Weigle
  • Family Development Specialist: Miss Shirley Bishop 

Family Development Information

The Shippensburg Head Start Program provides comprehensive services to pregnant women and children 0 to 5 years old. The Federal Head Start Performance Standards and the Federal Head Start Act require verification of the family's income to determine eligibility for service. You will be required to complete an application and provide verification of your income and eligibility at the time of application. You may verify your income and eligibility using the following documentation:

  • Income Tax Form 1040
  • W-2 Form
  • Verified by employer
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Pay stubs
  • Child Support
  • SSI Determination letter
  • Cash Assistance Determination letter
  • Foster Care
  • Homeless
  • Documentation of no income

You will be asked to verify the income of each person who is identified as a family member. Family members will be identified as defined in the Federal definition of family, as outlined by the Federal Head Start Performance Standards and the Federal Head Start Act.

You may make an appointment to complete an application to the Shippensburg Head Start Program by calling (717) 477-1626. During the phone call, the Federal Income guidelines will be discussed with you, as well as other information unique to your family's eligibility. Or you may apply online below or on the home page. We will contact you by phone using the number you provided once we have processed your online application.

The Federal Head Start Guidance prefers that the completion of the application occurs in the home of the child you chose to enroll. Other locations for an appointment may also be determined by unique family situations such as:

  • Foster Care placement
  • Parent schedules
  • Families moving into the area



The Family Development Staff, which includes the Family Development Manager, Family Development Specialists (FDS’s) and Social Work Interns will work with your family throughout the year to identify family goals, family strengths, and necessary services and supports. Resources and referral is available for training and education. Assistance is available for the completion of applications and resume writing. Budget planning materials and assistance to set up a working budget will be provided upon request.                                                                      

We will provide training and assistance conducting monthly center committee and policy council meetings. We assist parents participate in Head Start by following the established program policies and Head Start performance standards. During parent meetings we will assist parents plan activities for the classrooms and socializations for families. During parent meetings knowledge of issues surrounding child development and parenting skills is also provided.

The Family Development staff also monitors attendance of the children. Daily and monthly attendance is monitored. A record of attendance and excuse for absence is kept for each enrolled child.

We also are your point of contact for emergency assistance and crisis intervention. We will help you contact the public assistance office or other agencies that provide emergency assistance. We will encourage you to use the directory of services provided in your parent manual. The listings for food and clothing banks, day care facilities, housing and rental assistance, and many other areas of service may be found in the parent manual.

We are your bridge to the community and encourage parents to communicate openly with Head Start Staff, other parents, volunteers, and with community agencies and resources. We recruit new families and enroll children into classrooms throughout the year when vacancies occur.

Family Development Staff may be contacted at 717-477-1626.

Questions, concerns and suggestions are always welcome.

Health Information

The Health Service Area is here to provide a health services program which includes a broad range of medical, dental, mental health and nutrition services to your child in order to assist your child’s overall development and to promote preventive health services and early intervention.  We are also here to help families find a Medical and Dental Home to ensure the family will receive comprehensive health care after leaving the Head Start program.

Federal regulations mandate each child enrolled in Head Start receive certain immunizations, health screenings and exams.  The child’s family is responsible for making the arrangements and transporting their child to the appointments.  When taking your child for these health screenings and exams, we ask that you take the forms that were provided for you to the Doctors/Dentist and have them fill the forms out and return them to Head Start as soon as possible.  All information that is collected will be used only to provide a health program for your child and all records and information are kept confidential.  Some of these screenings/exams include:

  • Vision Screening
  • Dental Exam with a Cleaning and Fluoride Treatment.
  • Physical Exam with a Blood Pressure Reading, Height and Weight Measurement, Hearing Screening, Lead Poisoning Risk Assessment, TB Screening and Vision Screening.

If you have any questions, concerns or need help, please call Head Start at 477-1626 and ask for Mabel or Melissa.

Policy Council and Center Committees

Policy Council, in partnership with the Shippensburg University Council of Trustees, is the governing body of the Head Start Program in charge of making decisions about policies, operating procedures, budgets, staff employment, and proper adherence to program guidelines. Policy Council is composed of parent representatives elected by center committees, Shippensburg University Council of Trustee representatives, and community representatives. Policy Council, as defined by the Office of Head Start Performance Standards and the Head Start Act, must be comprised of at least 51% of Program enrolled Parents, with the remainder consisting of community representatives.

Policy Council members are responsible for electing a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Co-Secretary, Treasurer and Parliamentarian. The duties of these officers, as stated in the Policy Council Bylaws, are:

  • Chairperson- prepares the agenda and runs the meeting.
  • Vice-Chairperson- presides at meetings when the Chairperson is absent.
  • Secretary- takes notes of the proceedings and prepares minutes of the meeting.
  • Co-Secretary- takes notes and prepares minutes in the absence of the Secretary.
  • Treasurer- reads a monthly statement of Policy Council funds and supervises account activity.
  • Parliamentarian- maintains orderly discussion and adherence to Parliamentary Procedure during the meeting.

Per the Office of Head Start Performance Standards and the Head Start Act, Policy Council is empowered to:

  • have approval power in all program operations, specified in the Head Start Performance standards.
  • have operating responsibilities for evaluating the Head Start program.
  • have general responsibilities in hearing and resolving complaints about the Head Start program.

The authority entrusted to the Policy Council is enacted by various sub-committees composed of elected Policy Council members and representatives from the Council of Trustees and from within the community. The sub-committees are:

  • Bylaws committee
  • Budget Committee
  • Human Resources/Personnel Committee
  • Health Services Advisory
  • Selection Committee
  • Strategic Planning Committees
  • Ad Hoc Committees
  • Program Evaluation/Review Committee(includes Family and Community Partnerships, Program Design and Management, Child Development, Health Services, and Transportation/Facilities) 

Each sub-committee submits their recommendations to Policy Council and then to the Council of Trustees monthly (or "as needed," situation permitting).  Policy Council meetings are generally held the third Thursday of every month at 10:00AM, although this is subject to change following revision of Policy Council Bylaws. Any Head Start parent or primary caregiver of an enrolled Head Start child may attend the monthly meetings.

Training is provided for members of Policy Council and the Shippensburg University Council of Trustees to help in the implementation of their roles and responsibilities directing the Shippensburg University Head Start Program.

Foundation for Success

Head Start Center Committees are composed of the parents and primary caregivers of all enrolled Head Start children. There are 7 center committees in the Shippensburg Head Start Program:

  • Shippensburg Center: serving 18 children and their parents, guardians and primary caregivers.
  • Newville Center: serving 18 children and their parents, guardians and primary caregivers.
  • Carlisle Center: serving 17 children and their parents, guardians and primary caregivers.
  • Zion Evangelical Home Base: serving 20 children and their parents, guardians and primary caregivers.
  • St. Paul's Home Base: serving 20 children and their parents, guardians and primary caregivers.

Center Committees include discussions on parent/child education and Program concerns, planning field trips and special events, and to receive regular Policy Council reports and updates. Center committee meetings are held five times per year (as stated in each Center Committee's bylaws).  Each Center Committee must elect a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Policy Council Representatives/Alternates (who attend Policy Council's monthly meetings), and a Newsletter Writer.

Active Participation in Center Committees provides a thought-provoking experience for the enrolled Head Start children and families. Parents and primary caregivers are encouraged to express ideas, socialize with other families and the community, and to enjoy the Head Start experience together.



  •  Office Assistant – Assist administrative staff with office duties.

Family Development/Parent Engagement

  • Committee/Policy Council Member – Serve on center committees to assist with classroom planning and resulting class activities as well as participate in informative training sessions. Represent center committee on the Policy Council to become involved with Program planning, budget and policy development; provide two-way communication between the center committee and Policy Council.

  • Childcare Assistant – Provide childcare for the children of Head Start parents during Head Start functions.

  • Special Events – Assist Head Start staff with program special events.

  • Male Involvement – Assist the Head Start staff with male involvement initiatives and projects

Education/Mental Health/Disabilities Services

  • Classroom Assistant – Assist Teacher or Home Visitor with daily classroom activities, including special activities and field trips, snack and lunch set-up and participation; interact with children during indoor/outdoor classroom curriculum implementation.

  • Child Development Tutor – Assist Disability staff with service to children diagnosed with specific disabilities.

  • Bus Monitor – Following required special training, assist Driver with child transportation, including maintenance of Transportation Log, assisting with children’s placement in child restraint systems, and facilitating communication between the child’s parent/caregiver and the center.

  • Home Base Transportation – A parent/caregiver may provide transportation to and from a Home Base socialization and claim the time involved as an in-kind contribution to the Program.

  • Parent Engagement – Volunteer hours may be claimed for time spent in supporting the child and family’s experience in the Program, including participation in home; reading, journaling for the Literacy Project, supporting written plans and activities provided by the Teacher or Home Visitor, outreach efforts for recruitment, participating in community partnership with other parents or community members, supporting a lending library, health fair or other program activity, providing assistance in the classroom or on a field trip, reviewing menus for the Program, or participating in an employment interview.

  • Additional volunteer opportunities possible – providing special cultural, craft, or other activities for the children in the centers; assisting with Program special events, such as Family Fun Night or the Kindergarten Celebration; assisting with child care for meetings; other activities as proposed or needed to support Program service delivery.

Contact Information

  • Administrative Office: 717-530-2700
  • Nancy Grayson Elementary: 717-530-2770
  • James Burd Elementary: 717-530-2780
  • Grace B. Luhrs Elementary: 717-477-1612
  • Administrative Office: 717-776-2000
  • Newville Elementary: 717-776-2435
  • Mt. Rock Elementary: 717-776-2425
  • Oakflat Elementary: 717-776-2445
  • Administrative Office: 717-240-6800
  • Bellaire Elementary: 717-240-6800, ext. 12805
  • Hamilton Elementary: 717-240-6800, ext. 14805
  • Letort Elementary: 717-240-6800, ext. 25805
  • Crestview Elementary: 717-240-6800, ext. 22805
  • Mooreland Elementary: 717-240-6800, ext. 36805
  • Mt. Holly Elementary: 717-240-6800, ext. 46805
  • N. Dickinson Elementary: 717-240-6800, ext. 56805
  • Administrative Office: 717-258-6484
  • W.G. Rice Elementary: 717-258-6484