PRINEVILLE, OR -- The first phase of Ochoco Elementary’s transition is underway, as the former school in Prineville converts to an affordable housing apartment complex and community services hub. On Monday, NeighborImpact welcomes students to two Head Start classrooms in what used to be the cafeteria. "It’s the first full-day four-year-old classroom that NeighborImpact Head Start has implemented in our region," Director Kim Snow tells KBND News. "All Head Start programs are expected to transition into a full-day program 100% by the year 2021. We’re trying to make that transition and we just started that this year with two classrooms."
The new classes will keep kids 8-3:30 every Monday through Thursday and will have an adjusted calendar, "It’s the first classrooms that we have set up to really align with the Crook County School District schedule; so, when they have days off in Crook County, we’ll have days off at Head Start." Snow says, "It just gives them more one-on-one time with the teachers and staff to be able to support the focus on the different developmental areas." And, while it should make it easier for working parents and families with school-age kids, she recognizes it’ll be a long day for those young students. "They will be having an opportunity to take a rest time, but they don’t have to take a rest time. If they’re not asleep within a specific amount of time, then they can get up and do other activities that might be geared toward their individual goals." Snow says the classroom at their old site near Cecil Sly elementary will remain a half-day program, for now.
The new classrooms are in what used to be the cafeteria of Ochoco Elementary. Snow says it’s exciting to be the first to move in to what is now known as Ochoco School Crossing
. "How wonderful. The [former] classrooms are just amazing and they’re transitioning those classrooms into low income housing apartments. So, the end result would be for, maybe some of our children and families would have to walk a few feet to come to school because that’s their community." Ochoco School Crossing will also eventually be home to several Crook County Parks and Rec programs.