August 4, 2008

Not Too Late to Register for Wooster Preschool



Staff Writer

WOOSTER DISTRICT -- Wooster's first public preschool has room to double in size.

Emphasizing it is free to eligible families, Mark Stefanik, director of alternative education, encouraged parents to register children for the new preschool program that began operating during the second semester of the last school year.

For families that must pay for the service, the maximum amount is $90 a month, Stefanik said, "a very reasonable cost."

"There is a sliding fee scale," district curriculum secretary Mary Apple said.

Preschool hours are meant to fit around family schedules with a 3- year-old and a 4-year-old program in the morning, 9-11:30 a.m., and in the afternoon, 1-3:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday.

Transportation is finalized and open to participants, Stefanik said.

"That's huge," he said.

The preschool follows the same calendar as the district, Apple said.

About 30 students were enrolled for the inaugural session.

Its location in the Gault Family Learning Center provides space for 70-80 students, Stefanik said.

The program will employ the same staff, all certified, as last year and follow the state's early learning primary content standards.

Three methods of registration are available, Stefanik said, explaining the process actually is an application, which will be reviewed, for attendance.

Potential preschool students, who must be 3 years old by Aug. 1, can sign up at the central office, 144 N. Market St., daily 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

They can also sign up on preschool registration day, Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at Gault Family Learning Center.

Finally, they can use the district's overall elementary school registration day, Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

A preschool teacher will be available at Cornerstone and Lincoln Way elementary schools to answer questions on Aug. 13, too.

"We're still partnering with Tri-County (Educational Service Center), (given) their history of preschool involvement," Stefanik said.

While Stefanik is the administrator of the preschool, Leeann Weigman -- director of all Tri-County ESC programs, two of which are housed at Gault Family Learning Center -- acts as a consultant.

"She is an early childhood expert," said Karen Frimel, who served as Wooster's assistant superintendent for academic affairs.

"We were really pleased with program development and the way we were able to serve the children of Wooster in a setting that was designed to meet the needs of the students," Frimel said. "Early intervention is essential to school success. We want to get kids on track early on."

Reporter Linda Hall can be reached at 330-264-1125, Ext. 2230, or e-mail [email protected]

Originally published by By LINDA HALL Staff Writer.

(c) 2008 Daily Record, The Wooster, OH. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.