Return to Headlines

SCDE to Provide OCSD 4K Students with Waterford UPSTART

Waterford-UPSTART logo
Orangeburg County School District (OCSD) will offer the Waterford UPSTART Family Engagement Program for the 2021-2022 school year, providing its earliest learners additional support to ensure kindergarten readiness.

Parents/guardians of all four-year-old children are invited to register for the District’s pre-kindergarten program, a high-quality learning experience designed to build a solid foundation for their student’s future success. Waterford UPSTART at home, coupled with the District’s full-day 4K program, will prepare students for kindergarten while building confidence in early learners and their parents/guardians to support them academically.

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) and OCSD share a mutual interest in the education of four-year-old students through the Child Early Reading Development and Education Program (CERDEP). As part of the CERDEP Memorandum of Understanding with the District, OCSD will implement the Waterford UPSTART learning model, parents/guardians will participate in support sessions and receive one-on-one support, and the District will provide feedback to the state department on the program’s impact.

Waterford UPSTART will provide four-year-olds with engaging and highly-personalized curriculum in reading, early math, and science (with a focus on reading) in just 30 minutes a day. The cost of the program is roughly $2,000 per student, but will be offered at no cost to the student’s family, or school District. Other students in the home will also be afforded access to the program through individual logins to access the evidence-based curriculum The State Department is committed to investing at least a million dollars for Orangeburg’s students, and is prepared to increase their support above that as student numbers increase.

Early learners will be provided with computer-adaptive instruction at home alongside personalized support from Waterford’s Family Education Liaisons, who will monitor progress and empower parents as their child’s first teachers.

This collaborative model of child, family, and educator engagement will help deliver significant and lasting academic achievement gains, with a goal to ensure every child, regardless of geography, socioeconomic status, or background, enjoys the success of arriving to their first classroom on day one with the confidence to learn.

Waterford UPSTART, an evidence-based program, is now being offered in 15 states, serving more than 300,000 children annually through at-home and in-school programs, and that number is continuously growing. OCSD is excited to be a part of that growth.

“Every child should enter their first classroom on day one, confident and ready to learn,” stated Dr. Foster, OCSD’s Superintendent. “All individuals have the capacity to grow at every stage in their life, but childhood academic experiences are exceptionally critical for setting a lifetime learning path. We are excited to have this learning model offered at OCSD, as it personalizes support for families, to help every child start school strong, ready for academic success.”

You can also read the article in the T&D newspaper HERE.