Continuous Improvement Initiatives
The idea of continuous improvement is woven throughout our corporate fabric. We know that we have the leading early education program in the country, but we will never be satisfied. We are always challenging ourselves to incorporate the latest research, implement the most current curriculum and materials, stay abreast of the newest trends in employee and child development, and enhance our facilities with the most innovative facility design elements. We continue to look past our doors for ways to enrich and improve the operation of our programs. For example, New Horizon Academy was the first company in Minnesota to provide infant care and incorporate sign language into our program. We are eager to partner with any agency, group, or university to participate in research on any aspect of the growth and development of young children. Some of these partnerships include:
Minnesota Department of Health - Participated in a pilot program called Learning About Nutrition Through Activities (LANA), which helped identify strategies for incorporating more fruits and vegetables into a young child’s diet.
University of Minnesota Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) - Implemented the SEEDS of School Readiness Emergent Literacy Curriculum in all New Horizon Academy classrooms.
University of Minnesota – Child Development Institute - Partnered on a research project to evaluate the development of mindful thinking skills in young children.
Gillette Children’s Hospital - Partnered on a research project to determine baseline measures for the development of motor skills in young children.
St. Paul Schools – Project Early Kindergarten (PEK) - Partnered with the schools to implement early literacy and enrichment programs for children at high risk.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) - Currently we are working with IATP to connect early childhood centers with locally grown food, or food raised by family farmers, for the mutual benefit of children, farmers, and communities. The program includes fresh, healthy menu items, school gardens, classroom curriculum, interaction with nearby farmers, and community involvement.
Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) - Led a team of early childhood professionals to develop the Quality Rating System for child care centers, which has been implemented as Parent Aware.
Harvard Business School - Analyzed the potential return on investment with the St. Paul Scholarship model with our New Horizon Academy-Rice St.
Yale researchers - Partnered on an evaluation of our menus, nutritional guidelines and practices, and other aspects of our food program to ensure the healthiest options are available for our children.
Partnership for a Healthier America and the Let’s Move campaign - In November 2011, New Horizon Academy signed a commitment with this national organization to promote healthier practices and actively fight our nation’s increase in childhood obesity.