Preschool launches year with grant
Families in need can send kids to school for free
Elyria City Schools accepted last week a fourth installment on a $1.25 million, five-year grant from The Stocker Foundation to fund a five star preschool.
The grant enables families in need to send fouryear-old children to the New Beginnings preschool for free at Franklin Elementary School, 446 11th St. in Elyria.
Elyria Schools Associate Superintendent Ann Schloss said she is pleased with results so far.
“For them to be going into kindergarten knowing things they have to master in kindergarten, wow,” Schloss said. “That allows them to get further ahead and be on grade level and be kindergarten ready, as we say, because they have had the preschool experience.
“I would say it’s absolutely meeting our expectations. The one hurdle is the transiency of students. Franklin has a 30 percent mobility rate, so families are moving in and out. A lot of times they’re staying within the district.”
Though the grant was
written to include only students from the Franklin School area, the district allowed some students to stay in preschool if they moved late in the school year, Schloss said.
Other families moved to the Franklin area so their children could participate
in the preschool, she said.
“We’ve had some families who had two children go through the program, and we’re extremely excited about it,” Schloss said.
Data supports district optimism, Schloss said, adding she hopes the data holds as the students take tests next
school year for the third grade reading guarantee.
Of students taking kindergarten readiness tests, 44 percent of New Beginnings students scored at or above 75 percent in letter and number recognition, and 72 percent scored above the benchmark in rote
Comparatively, students who either did not attend preschool or who attended preschools not from the district, 17 percent met the benchmark in letter and number recognition, and 39 percent in rote counting.
“The students who at- tended Franklin preschool – rather than no preschool at all or other experiences – are far better prepared for kindergarten,” Schloss said. “What I know in general about students is when they’re prepared and they see success in their learning, then there’s confidence that is built and when they’re more confident, they’re more apt to lead.
“One other thing we do is we run a jump start program. If anyone is enrolled for kindergarten in the district, then they come to a camp for a week before the start of the school year. It’s a getting-ready-for-kindergarten school.
“I would say it’s absolutely meeting our expectations. The one hurdle is the transiency of students. Franklin has a 30percent mobility rate, so families are moving in and out. A lot of times they’re staying within the district.”
— Elyria Schools Associate Superintendent Ann Schloss
Speech therapist Gwyn Buchanan conducts an assessment Sept. 6, on a pre-kindergarten student at Franklin Elementary School in Elyria.