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P-3 Continuum

Innovation Department

P-3 Continuum Framework

The following are working drafts of the Prenatal to 3rd Framework.  Teacher Think Tank input and teacher voice will continue to craft and refine these documents.


Developed by educational researchers, Ready4K is an evidence-based text messaging program for parents of children from birth to 3rd grade, provided at no cost. Each week, you will receive fun facts and easy tips to boost your child’s learning. Ready4K activities build on the things that you already do with your child -- like getting your child dressed, meal time, and bath time -- to make boosting your child’s learning fast, fun, and easy. The research behind Ready4K shows that receiving fun facts and easy tips can significantly increase children’s learning.


Click HERE to join. 

Educational Enrichment Systems Preschool Program



P-3 Continuum and the Blueprint

VUSD Blueprint for Educational Excellence and Innovation Rationale:

Strategy 1: Family and Community as Partners in Education - We will develop a system that promotes two-way communication, engagement, and partnerships.

  • Action Plan 3: We will implement a Prenatal to Grade 3 (P-3) continuum that aligns parent education, early childhood education, early elementary, community partners and wraparound services to address the achievement gap before it opens with emphasis on supporting high needs students (Economically Disadvantaged, English Learners, Homeless, Foster Youth)


P-3 Continuum Overview

The education achievement gap begins early; research points to the first signs emerging as early as nine months. The gap has a long reach, affecting graduation rates, future earnings and health outcomes. Research shows that high-quality early learning can substantially increase the likelihood of later academic success. However, even universal access to preschool is not enough, and more aligned early education and elementary systems are needed to support Vista's young learners. 


VUSD's P-3 Continuum aims to:

  • Change the way schools and the district interact with families to support children's development, and
  • Connect early learning providers with schools in order to foster school readiness and 3rd grade reading achievement, and
  • Foster smooth transitions in the preschool to third grade ecosystem.

Aspiration Set

The P-3 Focus Group is committed to the set of aspirations listed below.  The actions center around integrating teacher voice and leadership.  A Teacher Think Tank has been created with representatives from every site to ensure teacher voice is at the center of all P-3 Continuum work.  Click the link below for more information on all the actions, including fostering smooth transitions, P-3 ecosystem research, supporting P-3 Vanguard Schools, igniting principal leadership, and expanding age 0-5 opportunities and supports with community partners. 




Higher resolution PDF file - Aspiration Set

Spotlight on P-3

Ask any Vista kindergarten teacher about the benefits of a preschool education and they will sing its praises. And it’s no wonder, considering the research that backs up the positive returns. According to research, children who attend some form of preschool before they enter kindergarten increase their reading readiness, cognitive skills, language acquisition, social-emotional aptitude, and much more.


The early childhood education programs at Vista Unified elementary schools fall under the umbrella of services in the district’s P-3 program. The “P” stands for prenatal and the three is for 3rd grade. After 3rd grade, students go from learning to read to reading to learn, so it is vital to reach students earlier than ever.


That means reaching out to young and even pregnant mothers in the community and offering information and assistance in accessing early childhood education. It also means providing that essential preschool education for those in need in the community.


VUSD’s goal is to close educational achievement gaps before they open and give every student in the district the best chance for success, both in school and in life. That goal led to a community partnership with Educational Enrichment Systems.


Educational Enrichment Systems, also known as EES, is a partner with the Vista Unified School District. They provide on-site part-day early childhood education programs at eleven Vista Elementary schools throughout the district (22 total throughout San Diego County).


The district’s community partnership with EES began with the implementation of part-day preschool programs at three elementary schools, and has grown to the current number of eleven. Beaumont, Monte Vista, Bobier, Vista Academy, Casita Center, Foothill Oak, Grapevine, Hannalei, Mission Meadows, Temple Heights, and Maryland Elementary all have preschool classrooms on site.


Families find out about the preschool program in myriad ways. There is a strong word of mouth component, as well as proper signage at the school sites, and partnerships with local community organizations to get the word out to the community. Families qualify for the part-day preschool program based on parent salary and financial need.


Family Liaisons at each elementary school are also resources for parents to learn about enrollment in preschool programs. Families can enroll their child at any time during the school year, but are encouraged to enroll during the summer so that they get the most educational benefit from attending.


Sara Hernandez is a program director at EES, and has been with the organization for almost 25 years. She sees firsthand the benefits of the partnership with Vista Unified School District.


“Walk into any kindergarten class on one of our sites and you will see the difference in children who have been through our program or have had any form of preschool prior to kinder,” says Hernandez. “It’s amazing.”


“Having preschools on the campuses of elementary schools is a win-win for the families, for the students, and for the Kindergarten teachers,” shares Hernandez.


When it comes to individual education goals for each student, says Hernandez, having a preschool on campus is a huge benefit. “Teachers are very in tune with the children’s needs.”


Once enrolled and attending, the academic and social-emotional progress of each student is assessed and monitored by teachers and trained staff. Interventions, if necessary, can take place, and positive outcomes achieved with earlier attention to each child’s learning abilities.


“With our program,” says Hernandez, “because we are in the district, it’s much easier to connect parents with specialists who are able to provide services.”


One of the many interventions is with children who are English language learners. Attendance in the program means they will acquire one to two years of English and begin kindergarten ready to learn.


All children who attend the program are able to participate in the daily school routine and become familiar with the expectations of going to school and being in a classroom. The Preschools are a part of the school’s community.


Vista Unified School District’s partnership with EES is providing a nurturing atmosphere and solid foundation for Vista’s children.  If you think EES might be right for your child, you can visit or contact the elementary school in your neighborhood.

Investing in Early Childhood Development

The Heckman Curve was created by Dr. James Heckman, Nobel Laureate economist at the University of Chicago. Dr. Heckman examined and analyzed hundreds of evaluations of services for children and young adults, with a special focus on return on investment. As indicated in the curve, he found that returns on investments in the earliest years are far higher than those for older children and young adults. This is generally due to the immense benefits and effectiveness of preventing problems before they arise, rather than trying to treat them later.

Contact Us


Matt Doyle Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent of Innovation 


Phone: 760-726-2170 ext 92006

P-3 Focus Group

The P-3 Focus Group is a representative group of teachers, school leaders, district leaders, preschool partners, and county early education leaders that has guided VUSD's P-3 journey. P-3 efforts began more than 10 years ago with partnership with Educational Enrichment Systems (EES) to bring 3 preschools to VUSD elementary campuses.  That has grown to 11 preschools with plans for more.  The newest preschool classrooms are on the Vista Innovation Center site with both toddler and 3-4 year old classes.  The P-3 Focus Group continues to foster the partnership with EES along with other aspirations including building a P-3 Framework, expanding Kindergarten Jumpstarts, implementing Ready4K, and initiating an early PreK/K registration campaign.  


For the 2018-19 school year, the P-3 Focus Group is committed to implementation and iteration of our P-3 goals.  The action steps will identified in the 2018-2019 Aspiration Set after the first meeting. 


P-3 Focus Group Members:


2018-19 P-3 Focus Group Meetings



Meeting 1 - September 12, 2018

Meeting 2 - October 9, 2018

Meeting 3 - November 6, 2018

Meeting 4 - January 8, 2019

Meeting 5 - February 12, 2019

Meeting 6 - March 5, 2019

Meeting 7 - April 9, 2019


Meeting 8 - May 1, 2019

  • Agenda

The P-3 continuum aligns parent education, early childhood education, early elementary, community partners and wraparound services to address the achievement gap before it opens.


In order to amplify teacher voice and leadership in the development process, a teacher representative from each elementary school site is included on the P-3 Teacher Think Tank.  Representatives will provide input and feedback and contribute to the design of innovative approaches to achieve the goals of P-3 through monthly Teacher Think Tank Meetings.

2017-2018 Dates: Sept. 35, Oct. 30, Nov. 27, Jan. 29, Feb. 27 (Wed.), Mar. 19, Apr. 30
Time: 3:30 p.m. -  5:00 p.m.
Location: Vista Innovation Center


Teacher Think Tank Representatives


Teacher Think Tank Meetings and Resources:


September 24, 2018

October 30, 2018

November 27, 2018

January 29, 2019


February 27, 2019

  • Agenda

March 19, 2019

  • Agenda


April 30, 2019

  • Agenda

UCSD Teacher/Researcher Collaborative


The Teacher/Researcher Collaborative pairs UCSD researchers directly with classroom teachers to implement a series of education neurological studies that assess the students’ early cognitive, language/literacy, numeracy, executive function/self-regulation, social-emotional development, and brain functions. This co-design and co-develop process compliments the district drive to create a learner-centered approach to education. 


August 29, 2018

October 3, 2018

November 1, 2018

January 10, 2019

February 13, 2019


April 2, 2019

May 9, 2019


P-3 Early Childhood Community Network




Welcome to the Prenatal to grade 3 Early Childhood Community Network. This group of community leaders is focused on aligning services and resources to best meet the needs of parents and children during their most formative years of development starting with prenatal care and reaching into literacy, language and numeracy skills by grade three. Ultimately, our collective efforts will serve to close the achievement gap, both academically and socially, before it opens. 


The P-3 Early Childhood Community Network will meet quarterly to discuss common topics, identify collective actions and track impact on closing the achievement gap. You can follow the work of this network below.


P-3 Early Childhood Community Network Meeting Schedule 

  • Meeting 1 - March 14, 2019
  • Meeting 2 - May 14, 2019
    • ​​​​​​​Agenda
  • Meeting 3 - June 11, 2019
    • ​​​​​​​Agenda