Unit 4 Named ISBE Gold Circle of Quality Recipient for Early Childhood Education

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 2:23pm

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Three Champaign Unit 4 schools earned 2019 Gold Circle of Quality recognition by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Stratton Academy of the Arts, the International Prep Academy, and the Champaign Early Childhood Center were among 142 public-school based early childhood sites receiving the Gold Circle of Quality. These schools meet or exceed the highest goals for quality determined by ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s system for supporting continuous improvement among early learning providers.

“Research proves that early childhood education is a major contributor to the success of students,” said Unit 4 Superintendent Dr. Susan Zola. “This statewide recognition is testimony to the high quality of the early childhood programs we offer at our Champaign Early Childhood Center and at Unit 4’s Stratton Academy of the Arts and International Prep Academy. We have many dedicated staff members who provide early childhood education and we are pleased to see their hard work recognized by being named Gold Circle programs.”

Gold Circle programs have met the highest standards for quality in the three areas: learning environment and teaching, administration, and training and education. Gold Circle programs are actively engaged in continuous quality improvement.

“Early childhood education is the foundation for our children’s future, and these outstanding early learning providers are the gold standard,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

National Louis University has a contract with ISBE to monitor all public school-based early childhood education programs receiving funding through the Preschool for All and Preschool for All Expansion portions of the Early Childhood Block Grant, which services children from birth to age 5. Each site is monitored every two or three years. ExceleRate Illinois gives each program a designation of Gold, Silver, or Bronze on the information collected.