Starting Towards Excellence in Pre-School (STEP) is a state (Virginia Preschool Initiative Grant - VPI) and locally funded program serving four year old children from low income families.
The curriculum is aligned with Virginia's Foundation Blocks for Early Learning and focuses on early literacy and early math instruction, as well as developmentally appropriate social and behavioral expectations. The goal is to close the achievement gap that might exist between the STEP students, who may be referred to as at-risk, and enable them to perform on a level consistent with their more advantaged peers.Your family may qualify for the program if you:
- reside in Loudoun County, Virginia
- have a child who will be 4 by September 30
- meet income guidelines
- have a child with a diagnosed disability or an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)
Classroom Location and Schedules
STEP Program is offered from August through June in eight Loudoun County Public Schools locations:
Evergreen Elementary School
Frederick Douglass Elementary School
Heritage High School
Hutchison Farm Elementary School
Meadowland Elementary School
Newton Lee Elementary School
Rolling Ridge Elementary School
Sully Elementary School
We have ten classrooms which operate Monday through Friday for 3 hours either in the morning or the afternoon. The students are assigned to either sessions based on their home address.
Transportation is provided within the assigned school boundaries. Upon arrival, Morning Classes will receive breakfast and Afternoon classes will receive lunch.
The 2020-21 school year began with 100% distance learning. The first day of virtual classes was September 10, 2020.
During the 2020-2021 school year, Loudoun County Public Schools will offer two models of instruction.
- Families may select 100% distance learning for the first semester (from the first day of school through January 15, 2021),
- or they may select the hybrid model which combines two days a week of in-person learning with three days a week of distance learning.
LCPS will phase in the hybrid learning plan as the conditions in the community allow.
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. ” -Mr. Rodgers
TOOLS of the Mind is the curriculum for cognitive, social-emotional, self-regulatory, and foundational academic skills. Because social emotional education is an integral part of a child’s development, Second Step Social- Emotional Learning (SEL) program is also used.
TOOLS of the Mind is a researched-based program that incorporates developmentally appropriate practices for children to learn skills while exploring through play.
Second Step SEL is an evidence-based curriculum that teaches foundational social skill interactions for classmates and classrooms.
Daily Activities include:
Mealtime Etiquette -Opening Group
Make-Believe Play Block
Large Group Literacy Time
Small Group: Literacy, Math or Science (LMS)
Enrichment Opportunities- Library or Music.
Income GuidelinesIncome Guidelines for the STEP Program is based on 200% Poverty Level. For example a family of 4 can earn up to $53,000 yearly to be eligible for the Program.
Number in Family Annual Income Monthly Income Weekly Income 2 $34,840 $2,903 $670 3 $43,920 $3,660 $845 4 $53,000 $4,417 $1,019 5 $62,080 $5,173 $1,194 6 $71,160 $5,930 $1,368 7 $80,240 $6,687 $1,543 8 $89,320 $7,443 $1,718* If your family’s income is higher than these guidelines but your child has a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) please proceed with an application.
Online application is now open for the upcoming school year 2021-22. We will begin processing application beginning of March in the order they are received.If you have a question about the application process or status please call: 571-252-2118.Returning families or those who have previously applied for another child: please contact the STEP Office at 571-252-2118 to update your application.If it's the first time you are applying for a PK program, please complete the ONLINE APPLICATION.