ESS: A Partnership With School Districts

Launched in 2019, Early School Success is a five-year initiative that provides school districts with the tools they need to offer developmentally appropriate aligned instruction to children from preschool through fifth grade.

Children's Institute

We launched Early School Success (ESS) because we believe that early childhood programs and the K–12 system must work together to offer young children high-quality learning experiences.

Developed out of what we learned through Early Works, ESS is a partnership with school districts. Districts engaged with ESS are provided with consultation, professional development, and coaching. This will support the use of developmentally appropriate teaching strategies for preschool through fifth grade. ESS districts will also develop deeper, more effective partnerships with families.

Following a competitive application process, the Forest Grove and Beaverton School Districts were selected as our initial partners. In 2021, we added a second cohort to the program, including partnerships with Lincoln County and St. Helens School Districts. Each of these teams have shown deep commitment to young learners and have been eager participants in the transformative work we’ve engaged in.

ESS is working with these districts to:

  • Analyze and define district and teacher strengths, needs, challenges, existing resources, and instructional practice
  • Design and test approaches to address district and community needs informed by child development research
  • Plan the implementation of the refined strategies

Early Learning Academy

In order to spread the work of ESS more widely, we’ve developed a virtual Early Learning Academy, leading district teams through a complete cycle of the continuous improvement process over the course of a year. Participants address a current problem of practice while learning a repeatable process along the way, enabling them to implement future changes.

Primary Contact

Karen Twain, Director of Programs, karen@childinst.org, 503.219.9034

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