PLAINFIELD — The school board here has approved plans for a new preschool to be called the Little Quakers Academy.
The corporation started a developmental preschool this year and it was the plan to implement more classes in stages. The first class to be added for the 2014-15 school year will have space for 40 children and offer before and after care. This will also be a full-day preschool class.
Assistant Superintendent Mary Giesting explained the concept to the board. She was joined in the presentation by Laura DelVecchio, the district’s director of special education.
“This class will use the High Scope Curriculum, which is a typical model,” DelVecchio said. “The typical students will interact with the developmental students more than just at lunch. They will interact throughout the day.”
High Scope Curriculum is a research-based curriculum that has been found to lead to positive outcomes for young students as they progress through school. The curriculum aligns with the Indiana Foundations for Young Children and addresses the areas of language, literacy, and communication; social and emotional development; physical development, health, and well-being; math, science and technology, social studies, and arts.
Parents can expect a progress report at the end of each nine-week grading period to provide an update on their child’s progress toward the curriculum Goals and Indiana Foundations for Young Children.
Only Guilford Township residents will be able to apply for admission. Due to the PCSC Little Quakers Academy being staffed and equipped to provide care only for 3- to 5-year-olds, children must be at least 3 by Sept. 1 to be eligible for enrollment.
Admission is based on available space. After the program fills, children will be placed on a waiting list and contacted in the order in which their registration packet was submitted for future openings.
Enrollment will begin Feb. 1 of each year and will remain open until capacity is reached. Items needed to register include a student enrollment form, birth certificate, two proofs of residency, an emergency information form, a student information sheet, financial agreement/parent information guide, and a physical examination report/immunization records.
Classes will be taught by a licensed preschool teacher. They will have an associate or CDA (Child Development Associate) credentials.
Each class will have one teacher and two paraprofessionals. Class sizes will be 18 to 20 students.
The school board decided that the preschool had to be financially self-sufficient and that no tax dollars could be used to fund its operations. The tuition fee includes a $25 registration fee, $75 materials fee, and $150 weekly for full-day preschool with before and after school care available. There will be a prorated tuition for school calendar and inclement weather closures.
Parents will be responsible for transportation of their children. They will need to either pack a lunch or maintain a lunch account for their child’s breakfast and lunch meals.
A typical day at Little Quakers Academy will begin at 6:45 a.m. with extended day care. Preschool time will be from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and includes a lunch and a quiet time. Extended day care is also available from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m.
The Community Preschool Focus Committee members include Amanda Chapman, Tayna Cox, DelVecchio, Kristen Fuson, Giesting, Jenny Homan, Megan Johnson, Denise Kennedy, Chandis Kottkamp, Matt Martin, Carly Miller, Annie Pangels, Andi Solero, Pat Thomas, Mike Underwood, Chad Walker, Jud Wolfe, and Megan Zeronik.
The plans include adding a full-day preschool, half-day preschool, and extended day care for the 2015-16 school year.
The school board thanked Giesting and DelVecchio for all of the hard work the committee put into developing the preschool plan.
“I think you will have plenty of demand for this first year,” board member Bart Beal said.
Board member Dana Johnson agreed and said she was worried there might be a rush.
“You might want to consider an enrollment lottery,” Johnson said. “You don’t want to see a Black Friday rush.”
Giesting said they’re planning on having a parent night event on Jan. 16, 2014.
“We’ll be putting the information on the website and the school messenger,” Giesting said. “We already have people calling about it.”
She said there will be some teachers who will be upset because of the residency requirement.
“I know we have teachers who would like to enroll their children but they don’t live in Guilford Township,” she said. “But it was the only way for it to be fair.”