85% of a child’s brain structure is formed by age five
The most urgent challenge revolves around early childhood education. The goal in Coffeyville has been to break the cycle of poverty. Coffeyville has a long history of generational poverty. In order to work toward the goal of goal of improving early childhood education in the county, Coffeyville Public Schools leadership knew it had to impart a lasting impact. When Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll arrived in 2008, test scores were far below state and national averages. The school district tracked past student progress through the years, and recognized students within their cohorts came into kindergarten with low engagement and remained lower than their peers throughout their school careers.
The primary solution in Coffeyville was to build a high-quality early childhood center, staffed with high-quality early childhood professionals. Coffeyville currently serves 75 percent of four-year-old children and 50 percent of three-year-old children in the community. By establishing a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (Coffeyville Coalition for Early Education) public-private partnership, the district managed to leverage resources that would not have otherwise been available working in isolation.
The Coffeyville Public School District learned, through engaging local stakeholders, the importance of setting clear expectations, both short- and long-term — for the community at-large. One meaningful lesson the district learned was establishing one true champion from the private sector early in the process. This enabled easier conversations with private sector leaders and professionals.
Coffeyville Superintendent of Schools
Local Head Start Director
Local Community College President
Coffeyville Community College Foundation
John Deere Foundation
Coffeyville Public School Foundation
City of Coffeyville
Parents As Teachers
Community Health Clinic of Southeast Kansas
University of Kansas Autism Telehealth Screening
Boys and Girls Club
Coffeyville Community College
Kansas Children’s Cabinet & Trust Fund
Addressing Childcare and the Impact of COVID-19
Dr. Correll led initial efforts to unite county school districts and parochial schools in planning and responding to the global pandemic. Emergency Management and the Montgomery County Health Department was contacted to convene a meeting with the entire educational system in the county to develop a strategy prior to schools closing in April 2020. All four public schools and the six parochial schools have drafted a universal hazard mitigation plan to safely reopen schools. The consistency and unity created by the plan has drawn support throughout the county. The hazard mitigation plan creates shared responsibility and decision making equally across every school in coordination with the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Health Department. There is no conflict in operation, information, or consistency, and that directly benefits the safety and public health of not only students and staff, but the entire county.