Schools planning for 2013-14 preschool

Published 5:22 pm Saturday, February 16, 2013

By Amy Baskin

Director of Community Education

It is time to start thinking about preschool for the 2013-14 school year. (check this) According to the U.S. Department of Education, preschool plays a large role in later academic success. “Children in high quality preschools display better language, cognitive and social skills. They have longer attention spans, stronger social abilities and better language and math skills well into their elementary school years. They are more likely to graduate from high school and more likely to hold high paying jobs.”

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Austin Public Schools provides school readiness preschool programs for 3- and 4-year-old students through ECFE. Our 3-year-old Discovery program offers two- and three-day options that focus on introducing your child to the wonderful world of school. Morning and afternoon classes are available and run two hours and 45 minutes in length. Class size is capped at 14.

Our 4-year-old Kindergarten Prep classes focus on school readiness skills to prepare your child for kindergarten. These classes meet four days each week and are offered morning and afternoon. These classes are also two hours and 45 minutes long. Class size is capped at 16.

Both Discovery and Kindergarten Prep include fun, engaging learning activities, daily gym time, music, circle time, story time, free play, a healthy snack and family events. Our highly trained staff include Minnesota licensed early childhood teachers, skilled paraprofessionals and access to other early childhood professionals as needed. Our curriculum is aligned to the Minnesota state standards. All of our classes are equipped with smart boards and the children are active in fun learning activities. Students in our program are highly diverse and enter kindergarten with a high rate of competence in language/literacy, math, social/emotional and physical development.

Austin Public Schools believes a parent is the first and most important teacher and parent involvement is a strong component of our program. Our goal is to partner with you to engage your child in a love of learning that will last their lifetime. We also offer several family events during the year and provide materials for you and your child to do at home to extend learning.

When deciding on a preschool, find one that fits your child’s personality and your family’s needs. Visiting area preschools is the best way to get a feel for them. Most have daily schedules that include plenty of time for physical activity, quiet or reading time, group and social interactions, snack and free time. Academic skills are important, but the most important thing a preschool can provide for a child is an attitude and love toward learning and exploring the world around them.

Austin Public Schools will begin registering for next year’s preschool class on March 5 for our current families and March 12 for the general public. For more information, call our office at 507-460-1700.