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February 2017

Pre-K in the Plymouth Public Schools

Did you know that the Plymouth Public Schools offers a free preschool program? If your child was born in 2013 or 2014, he or she may be able to be part of one of our preschool classes for the 2017-2018 school year!

We would love to have all of these children participate in our preschool program! Years ago, preschool was an option to consider. Now it is becoming more of a necessity! The importance of a high quality preschool experience has been stressed by educators for years, and has received a great deal of attention in the news. Preschool provides opportunities for the child to grow across all developmental areas. It provides opportunities for the development of school readiness, pre-academic and early academic skills. It also allows children opportunities to develop the social/ emotional, language and behavioral skills they will need throughout their school career and throughout their lives. And the list goes on. A high quality preschool provides children with a first opportunity to play and to learn in a structured setting with other children. It sets the foundation and prepares each child to to be a lifelong learner.

Plymouth is excited to be able to provide this type of quality preschool to our young children. Our district-wide preschool is located at Plymouth Center School as part of our Early Childhood Learning Center. Our preschool teachers are certified by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). In addition to the certified teacher, each preschool classroom has an instructional paraprofessional to provide additional support to the teacher and to each child in the classroom. These professionals have set up environments in their classroom that allow all students to feel safe and to engage all students in their own learning. Our inclusive classrooms provide a combination of activities designed to meet the developmental needs of all our young children, including our students with disabilities. Our curriculum is based on the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS), which were developed by the CSDE and the Office of Early Childhood, and includes “statements of what children from birth to age five should know and be able to do across the earliest years of development” (from the CT ELDS). Students have an opportunity to participate in art, music and physical education classes designed to meet their developmental needs. Our teachers work collaboratively with all families to develop and to maintain a true partnership in the education of each child. We involve specialists throughout the school community to ensure we are meeting the needs of all students, including collaboration with our school and district nurses, speech and language pathologists, social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists and physical therapist.

While traditionally we have offered half day sessions to our preschool students in a morning or afternoon session following the school year calendar, in 2017-2018 we hope to be able to also offer a school day option of approximately six hours a day for some of our preschool students. We anticipate beginning to accept applications for our preschool program in March, with a lottery to be held in early April. If your child was born in 2013 or 2014, please watch for additional information in early March. We hope to hear from you!

This article was a collaborative effort between Mrs. Barbara Trinks, Director of Pupil Personnel and Mrs. Jennifer Parsons, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

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