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January 2019

Plymouth Public Schools

Pre-K Opportunities – Getting a Great Start!

superDid you know that the Plymouth Public Schools offers a free preschool program? If your child was born in 2015 or 2016, he or she may be able to be part of one of our preschool classes for the 2019-2020 school year!

Preschool used to be an option to consider, but now it is 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 each child to grow across all developmental areas including in school readiness, pre-academic and early academic skills. It allows children opportunities to develop the social/emotional, language and behavioral skills they will need throughout their school career and throughout their lives. 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 for all school experiences and prepares each child to to be a lifelong learner.

Our district sponsored preschool is located at Plymouth Center School as part of our Early Childhood Learning Center. Our collaborative team includes three preschool teachers who are certified by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). These teachers are wrapping up a year of self study and preparing for a visit next fall to achieve accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  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 preschool teachers have access to the Creative Curriculum to support the learning progressions for our young students as outlined within the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS).  These standards were developed by the Office of Early Childhood, and our staff are participating in a state sponsored pilot to assess student progress on the CT-ELDS. To further enhance their experiences this year, our preschool 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 from around the district to ensure we are meeting the needs of all students, including collaboration with our school 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 either a morning or afternoon session, this year we have been able to add a full school day option for some students through a statewide Smart Start grant we were awarded! This has increased our preschool enrollment from 36 students in 2016-2017 to 55 students in 2018-2019!

Plymouth is excited to be able to provide this type of high quality preschool experience to many of our young children. For 2019-2020, we hope this includes your child! We are in the process of determining which students will be returning next year and will be accepting applications for all available slots in February 2019. Families will be notified in March 2019 about whether their child has been accepted into our program. If your child was born in 2015 or 2016, please watch for additional information on our website http://www.plymouth.k12.ct.us/ in early February. We look forward to hearing from you!
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