Napoleon Area School’s Preschool
Parent Meeting Notes
March 5, 2012
Introduction of Presenters/Staff: Judy Stuckey, Preschool Supervisor (NWOESC); Dr. Steve Fogo, Superintendent (Napoleon Area Schools); Tara Schumaker, Preschool Supervisor (NWOESC); Ryan Meyers, Director of Special Education (NWOESC); Wendy Nashu, West Elementary School Principal/Director of Student Services; and, Stacie Kirkbride, Director of Services (Hope School)
Description of preschool: The Napoleon Area School’s Preschool program is funded through the Department of Education to serve children 3-5 years of age who have an area of special need. To determine a child eligible for services, the district contracts through the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center to do assessments in the areas of language, social, adaptive, motor and cognition skills. Any one area found to have a significant delay or two or more areas found to be moderately delayed would be eligible for services. These classrooms are considered preschool for special education and the focus is for the special education of the identified kids. The state has strongly suggested that a classroom be made up of 50% typical peers. So, each session can have no more than 9 children with a special need and no less than 4 typical peers. Napoleon Area School’s Preschool program will have three classroom units and one shared itinerant unit. Each classroom will have 2 sessions, a Tue/Thurs session and a Wed/Fri session. (No children attend school on Mondays.) The classroom units will begin with 6 typical peers in each session. The staff for the preschool classroom units will be Chris Fraker, Sue Stalter and Jackie Schroeder. Holly Evinger will serve as the itinerant teacher.
- What does an itinerant teacher do? An itinerant teacher would work as a consultant with parents and community preschool teachers. This service is provided to children who qualify for special need services but are enrolled in community/private preschools. This will be different from what we have had before, so Holly will spend some time in the beginning identifying needs and developing the program.
- Who will the classroom aides be? The Napoleon Area Schools contracts with the Northwest Ohio Education Service Center (NwOESC) to operate the preschool program. The NwOESC is taking the applications for the classroom aide positions. One classroom aide will be placed in each classroom unit. Attendants will be placed as IEP demands. Hope is currently in the process of writing IEP’s and will make us aware of these needs.
- Will my child have a spot next school year? Any child who is currently enrolled at Hope and has an IEP to address areas of need will be automatically enrolled next school year. Parents will receive enrollment forms to fill out at a later date. For typical peers, we are working on rosters to determine available spots and number of students who wish to return. For many parents this is a decision that will need to wait until kindergarten screening is completed. It is the district’s hope that the program can accommodate as many children currently enrolled as possible. All children will be placed in the classroom in the district they reside in. The State department does not recognize “open enrollment” for preschool. The reason for this is that a classroom is funded by the unit or classroom not by the child as it is for grades K-12. But as unique situations occur, the superintendents of the affected districts will look at each on a case by case basis.
- How does a parent get help if they are concerned about their child’s development? Parents are asked to contact Kamie Beck at Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center (NwOESC) at 567-444-4808. Kamie will ask some questions and get the request for evaluation to the proper person.
- What does a parent do if they want their child considered as a typical peer in the program? Parents would call Kamie Beck at NwOESC at 567-444-4808. She will take the parent and student’s name, number and other demographic information and put the child’s name on a waiting list. Once a date is set for typical peer screenings, the parent will be notified for an appointment. As with Hope, there always are more names on the waiting list than program can enroll, so once the screening is over the NwOESC make selections based on the needs of the children with special needs and the role models that are needed. Generally, typically developing children who have great communication skills and strong social and leadership abilities are selected for the program. Each typically developing student will be offered 2 days per week. Once selections are made, a letter will be sent to other parents letting them know that all positions have been filled.
- What is the cost for my child to attend preschool? The district is mandated to provide a free service to all children 3-5 who have special needs. For typical peers the cost will be $64.00/month. You will be asked to pay a $64.00 deposit due by a specific date yet to be determined. That is a non refundable deposit if you withdraw your child after submitting it. If you remain with the program for the entire year it is credited to the month of May. You can pay tuition for the entire year and all is done. If you choose not to do that you will receive a billing statement from NwOESC, Ann Lamb every two months. You can pay by check or credit card on our website. If you chose to pay by cash you need to come into our office. Teachers are not asked to handle money or keep track of what is due or owed. If you prefer to pay by a different schedule than every two months you would make arrangements by calling Ann Lamb. Parents who do not pay will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Napoleon will also be billing parents of typical peers a $60.00 transportation fee if a parent decides to use the Napoleon bus to transport their child. You will be paying Napoleon directly for this fee.
- What will the hours of the day be? Napoleon Area Schools preschool program hours will be approximately 8:20-2:45.
- What will the calendar look like? The preschool program will follow the Napoleon Area School district’s calendar. The preschool also will follow the same delay and cancelation schedule.
- What is our curriculum? The program will have content standards that are set by the Ohio Department of Education. In addition, a curriculum called Assessment, Evaluation Program System is used. This is a developmentally appropriate curriculum that helps a teacher identify the level of development of each child and then through play and areas of learning design an environment that will challenge each child at his/her level of development. This is the same curriculum that is in place at Hope School, so many parents will be familiar with this. The program also supplements the curriculum with a program called Handwriting without Tears and materials from the High Scope foundation. Additionally, staff pull ideas for developmentally appropriate practice from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
- What is going to happen with all the equipment currently at Hope? The Hope Superintendent is currently in conversation with a legal advisor to determine how materials and equipment at Hope can be transferred to the districts. It is Hope School’s intention that the materials in each classroom will move with the teacher to the new location. Materials in the gym and sensory room will be divided up among all the units and move to where it is needed.
- How will my child get to and from school? The Napoleon Area Schools is currently developing transportation routing. At this point, the district is planning on having a dedicated preschool bus route only.
- Who is the district required to transport? In the eyes of the state department, school districts are not required to transport preschool children because in our culture it is the responsibility of parents to get their preschool children to and from school. With that said, superintendents are very helpful to parents in getting their children to and from school. The only mandate that they are responsible for is to assure that a child with special needs is able to participate in the services identified in the IEP as a need. Sometimes that means that a child will need transportation.
- How will preschoolers get from bus to the classroom? Preschool staff will be with children all day. Staff will meet them at the bus or a designated parent drop off area and walk them to the classroom.
- Will there be field trips? Each classroom will have one field trip per year.
- How will therapy be delivered? Each child who needs therapy will receive it as specified on the IEP. All therapies will continue to be delivered at high quality within the classrooms.
- How will meals be handled? Children will be provided snack and lunch just as they are now. Preschool children will be served lunch in the cafeteria and preschool staff will go to lunch with them to help them get their food, do any preparation such as open milk cartons, etc, and remain with them until lunch is completed. Snacks may be served in the preschool classroom and the teacher in each class will help decide how that is best carried out.
- Who do you contact if you have questions? Judy Stuckey at 567-444-4808 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Wendy Nashu at 419-592-4641 or email@example.com , and Steve Fogo at 419-599-7015 or firstname.lastname@example.org