From the Chair - September 27, 2011

Council activities in September have primarily focused on early childhood data.  Council staff, Council members, stakeholders, and agency participants have gathered for 7 important Joint Requirements Planning sessions for The On-Track System (TOTS), in order to collaboratively define the requirements and specifications of the Council's goals for an integrated early childhood data system.  The Council is extremely grateful for the time and effort JRP session participants have invested in this process; it means a lot to us and to the future of early childhood in Texas.  Thank you all.  The Council also reached an important milestone related to TOTS during September-our consultants on the project produced the TOTS Strategic Plan which presents key decisions, opportunities, and challenges in making TOTS a reality.  If you have unanswered questions about TOTS, this document will really help clear up any blind spots on the project.  Council members are meeting soon to make some key decisions related to the TOTS.  Stay tuned.

I am also excited to report that the Council recently conducted a kick off call with the participants in the Texas Community Campaign for School Readiness.  The selected communities are really fired up about their opportunities, and the Council is very happy to be a part of this.  Nationwide, these communities are getting great attention; in fact, I recently participated in a national call in which these communities' efforts were being held up as models for other communities and states to follow in their approaches to improving early childhood systems.

This is very difficult work.  The Council is honored by the all the stakeholders and participants in our workgroups, projects, and initiatives.  Thank you all for joining us in this effort to improve school readiness in our state.

John W. Gasko, Ph.D.

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