Program Overview

Portland Public Schools Head Start serves 844 low-income three and four year old children and their families. The Goal of Head Start is to build social competence in children. Social competence is the child’s everyday effectiveness in dealing with both his/her present and later responsibilities in school and life. We recognize parents as the primary educators in the life of their child. We provide quality comprehensive services that are family focused, including education, social and emotional development, physical and mental health, and nutrition. We offer both half day and extended day classrooms that operate September through June.

Head Start classrooms are located at:

These programs are center-based classrooms in session Monday through Friday with alternating Wednesdays. The three-hour sessions are offered in the morning from 8:40 am to 11:40 am., and in the afternoons from 12:20 pm to 3:20 pm.

Our extended day session Head Start classrooms are designed to meet the needs of parents and care givers who work or attend school. Session  are 6 1/2 hours, Monday through Friday, with alternating Wednesdays.

Our program supports families in improving their quality of life. We offer them a sense of belonging, support services, and a chance to be involved in activities to help the whole family. Parents take part in training classes on subjects such as parenting, job skills, health and nutrition, and free community resources. We offer assistance to parents interested in obtaining a GED, learning to speak English, or read. Families receive help with special problems such as drug or alcohol abuse, job loss or other family crisis. We refer families for help with medical, social welfare, or employment. Our families have a voice in our program through various committees or on the Policy Council, our parent and community shared decision-making body.