Listening and Learning About Early Learning Tour Announced for DC, Denver, Orlando, and Chicago

Over the next two months, the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) will hold a series of Listening and Learning About Early Learning meetings.

The meetings will focus on topics related to early learning (birth through 3rd Grade): Understanding Preschool – Grade 3 Structures, Workforce and Professional Development, Family Engagement, and Standards and Assessments.

The meetings will be led by Secretary Duncan’s senior advisor on early learning, Jacqueline Jones, and HHS’s Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development at the Administration for Children and Families, Joan Lombardi.  The meetings will help inform the work of ED and HHS around early learning.

The meetings will occur from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m on the dates and at the locations that follow.

  • Understanding Preschool – Grade 3 Structures: Friday, April 23, 2010, at the LBJ Auditorium at the Department’s headquarter building in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Building, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington, D.C.
  • Workforce and Professional Development: Monday, April 26, 2010, in the auditorium at the Center for Early Education, 3245 E. Exposition Avenue, Denver, CO
  • Family Engagement: Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at the Orange County Public Schools Educational Leadership Center, 445 W. Amelia Street, Orlando, FL
  • Standards and Assessments: Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at the Polk Bros. Lecture Hall at the Erikson Institute, 451 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL

We anticipate that each meeting will include three components:

1) Opening statements by officials from ED and HHS

2) Input from invited panels of experts

3) Open opportunity for public speakers to share input

  • Each individual registered and scheduled to speak will have up to 5 minutes to provide oral input on the topic of the specific meeting at which they speaking.
  • There will be a time for questions and written submissions will be accepted.

Registration: To attend or speak at a meeting, you must register at http://www.fsaregistration.ed.gov/profile/web/index.cfm?PKWebId=0x91942aeb2&varPage=agenda.  Please register at least 4 business days prior to each meeting you plan to attend.  Seating and speaker slots are limited, so registering early is important.  If you want to speak at a meeting, please come to the meeting prepared to provide an electronic copy of your comments (e.g., CD or flashdrive).  We are committed to gathering and sharing publicly the input from the meetings and written submissions.  We will share any updates and written input that we receive from members of the public at www.ed.gov.

Webinar Attendance for April 23, 2010 – The first meeting (April 23) will be offered also as a webinar.  Anyone may listen to the meeting and watch the slide presentations live may do so by going to http://www.fsaregistration.ed.gov/profile/web/index.cfm?PKWebId=0x91942aeb2&varPage=agenda and registering as a webinar attendee. Webinar attendees will be in “listen” mode only.

Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities: Meeting sites will be accessible to individuals with disabilities and will have sign language interpreters for anyone wishing to attend or speak who requests them at least five days prior to each meeting they plan to attend.  Attendees who need a sign language interpreter or any other special accommodation must indicate so in the “special accommodations” portion of the registration form.  Attendees requiring an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting (i.e., interpreting service such as oral, cued speech, or tactile interpreter; assisted listening device; or materials in alternate format) should notify the contact person listed under “For Further Information Contact” at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting date.  Although we will attempt to meet a request we receive after this date, unless we receive two week’s notice, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Submission of Written Input: ED must receive all written submissions of comments on the four early learning topics on or before 5:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on Tuesday, May 18, 2010.  For those planning to submit written input, we encourage submissions by e-mail using the following address:  earlylearning.comments@ed.gov.  Submissions must include “Listening and Learning about Early Learning” and the topic area(s) to be addressed in the subject line of the e-mail.  Those who prefer to send their input by regular mail, must address it to the Office of the Secretary, Attention:  Listening and Learning about Early Learning – Public Input Meetings, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 7W219, Washington, DC 20202.  When submitting input at the meetings, we request that you submit one paper copy and an electronic file (CD or flashdrive) of your statement.  Please include your name and contact information on the paper and electronic files.

For Further Information: Katy Chapman, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 7W219, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-7275 or by e-mail: earlylearning.comments@ed.gov.

We look forward to seeing you on the tour!

Steven Hicks
Special Assistant on Early Learning