The critical window for developing the cognitive, social, academic foundation that helps children thrive in later learning is between birth and age eight. This session will provide an overview of PreK-3rd and research supporting the benefits of a continuum approach for young learners. Participants will come away from the session with practical examples of effective practices to build a more aligned and articulated PreK to TK to 3rd grade connection.
Ms. Jessica Mihaly serves as initiative officer for Pre-K-3rd Grade Alignment for Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Bridges to Success initiative. In this role, Ms. Mihaly works with seven school district-community teams to improve the transition for students between early childhood education and early elementary school and to increase alignment of curriculum, standards and approaches to teaching.
Prior to joining the community foundation, Ms. Mihaly served as a senior program associate with WestEd’s E3 Institute: Advancing Excellence in Early Education in Santa Clara County and as the Preschool for All and School Readiness coordinator for First 5 San Mateo County. She was founding director of the San Francisco Early Childhood Professional Development Initiative and the Early Childhood Professional Development and Education Collaborative. Ms. Mihaly has also been an adjunct faculty member in the child development departments at Cañada College, Skyline College and City College of San Francisco.
She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education and a multiple subjects teaching credential from Mills College in Oakland.
Ms. Mary Seaton is an educational consultant in private practice with a primary focus on supporting school districts working to create a pre-k-3rd continuum approach to early learning. Her professional experience spans the continuum, having worked at the state and district levels of K-12, and having held program and administration roles in Head Start and state funded and community based pre-k programs.
Most recently, Ms. Seaton served as the first director of early learning for Seattle Public Schools, where she managed pre-k-3rd grade services and co-led collaborative planning processes bridging city and district early learning efforts that resulted in a nationally recognized Seattle Pre-K-3rd Action Plan. Prior to that, she was the first director of early learning for the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, where she
managed state funding of full-day kindergarten and played an integral role representing the office in developing a Joint Resolution Partnership and accountability plan between the Office of Public Instruction, Washington State Department of Early Learning and Thrive By Five Washington.
Ms. Seaton holds a master’s degree in human development from Pacific Oaks College with a specialization in leadership and supervision.