The Acorn Partnership
Head Start/Early Head Start programs around the country are benefiting from a full-service partnership with Acorn Evaluation. The partnership begins with a 12-month organizational commitment to implementing data-driven continuous quality improvement projects aligned with the agency's specific goals and objectives and the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Our team connects closely with your management team to identify, plan, implement, and analyze the projects, while also focusing on data literacy and culture.
Partnering with Acorn fits seamlessly with your own organization’s workflow. You are not purchasing software, forms, or an additional “thing to do”. You are engaging with an experienced partner to implement continuous quality improvement for your Head Start/Early Head Start program.
Our first step is to learn about your organization. What year of the grant/grants are you in? Do you have an upcoming federal review? What are you best at? What challenges are you currently facing? How satisfied are you with your current use of data, through the filter of the expectations of the Head Start Program Performance Standards?
The next step is to complete onboarding. During this time Acorn constructs a custom, analytic data set from data in your core data system (ChildPlus, myHeadStart, COPA, etc) and data from additional sources (DRDPTech, Learning Genie, MTS, etc) in order to measure your current data capability and provide our custom analytics. We also interview each of your content leads and then provide a two-day Initial Partnership Meeting to kick everything off successfully.
3. Road Map
The third step is the development and launch of road maps for each content area, in which specific activities are linked to agency Goals and Objectives as well as results from the Community Needs Assessment and agency Self-Assessment. These road maps are consistent with the OHS implementation stages for continuous quality improvement – they are simple, defined in six month intervals, and fully engaging to program staff.
The final step of the process is to implement continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes within your organization. As the name implies, this is indeed continuous. CQI is informed by successful use of program data, engagement and feedback from stakeholders including but not limited to agency administrators, staff, and program participants, and the lessons learned along the way.