Frequently Asked Questions
Is my child eligible for (free) preschool through the school district?
The Thompson School District Early Childhood Program offers preschool for children who have gone through a general developmental screening and also qualify for Head Start or Colorado Preschool Program (CPP). Preschool services are also available for children who qualify for Special Education.
How do I know if my child qualifies for Special Education?
If you have concerns about your child's development, you can have him/her screened or assessed through Child Find. If your child is assessed by the Early Childhood Assessment Team and found to meet the criteria for needing Special Education services, the team will work with the family to get the child the services he/she needs.
How old does my child need to be to get a screening?
The Thompson Early Childhood program will screen children between the ages of 2 years 9 months and 5. If you are concerned about your child who is younger than 2 years 9 months, contact Foothills Gateway at 226-2345. Ask to speak with the Part C Coordinator. To schedule a screening for your preschool-aged child, call the Early Childhood office at 613-5761 or 613-5762.
How do I know if my child qualifies for Head Start or CPP?
Head Start-To be eligible for the Head Start Program, children must meet federal income and program guidelines
CPP - To be eligible for the Colorado Preschool Program children must have risk factors such as chronic health problems, lack of group experience, premature birth, low income of family, etc.
What are the hours for preschool?
We offer morning and afternoon options, although many 4 year olds attend in the afternoon. Morning sessions are from 8:30 AM-Noon and afternoon sessions are from Noon-3:30 PM Monday through Thursday. Placement is based on availability. Children do not attend on Fridays.
What if my child does not qualify for Head Start, CPP, or Special Education?
For 2010-2011, we will also be offering a pilot tuition program at Coyote Ridge, Cottonwood Plains, and Ponderosa.
What if I need transportation for my child in order for him/her to be able to attend?
Transportation is available on a case-by-case basis dependent on the need of the family and the availability of space on the bus. Transportation is not available to children in the tuition program.
What curriculum do you use?
We use the Creative Curriculum as our foundation. It is a research-based developmentally appropriate curriculum for children ages 3 to 5. Building relationships with families and children is the foundation of our curriculum. The classroom environment is set up with a variety of interest areas and children spend a significant portion of their day learning through play. Since we are part of the Thompson School District we align our curriculum with K-12. We are currently looking at the new state standards which include PreK and we will be using the new state standards as our benchmarks for learning.
"Will Coyote Ridge Preschool participate in the International Baccalaureate program?
What paperwork is required for enrollment?
The first step is to complete an application. Once we receive your application you will be contacted about next steps. Additional enrollment paperwork will need to be completed prior to the first day of school including a current physical and record of immunizations.
Who will be in class with my child?
Our program is an integration of several funding sources. We serve children who qualify for Head Start (families who live in poverty), Colorado Preschool Program (families who have at least one risk factor), Special Education (children identified with an educational disability), and tuition-based. There will be children in the classroom who have an identified disability. There might be a child with autism, Down Syndrome, physical needs, speech only needs, etc...All children are served in our integrated early childhood classrooms. If needed, we hire additional classroom staff to support the needs of the children. We believe that children of all abilities and backgrounds benefit from learning together in an integrated classroom setting.
Who will be teaching my child?
Our classrooms are taught by a lead teacher who has at least a BA in early childhood education and is a Colorado Department of Education licensed early childhood teacher. Over 90% of our teachers also have their Masters in Early Childhood Special Education.
Who else is in the classroom with the teacher?
In addition to the lead teacher, every classroom has at least one paraprofessional who is Group Leader Qualified (GLQ). GLQ means that they have taken classes in early childhood and/or have experience in a preschool classroom. Sometimes there might be an additional paraprofessional in the classroom in order to meet the needs of the children. There is also a Speech Therapist and an Occupational Therapist in the classroom once/week. If we serve lunch, there is a lunch aide who works during the middle of the day to help cover lunches for the teaching staff. Our program also has family service providers who work with the families in the Head Start program. Family workers will be spending some time each week in the classrooms to build relationships with the children.
Our early childhood coordinator staff frequently goes in and out of classrooms to provide support, feedback, coaching, and to get to know the children and families enrolled in the program.
Are background checks completed for all staff?
Yes, background checks are completed on all staff including substitutes who come into the classroom if a staff member has to be absent.
Will my child eat at school?
Currently our program serves breakfast and lunch and lunch and snack and the children are present for 3 1/2 hours. We work with the district nutritional services department to provide the food. Since we eat family style, all children participate in the hot lunch program unless there are specific dietary or medical restrictions.
How will I be informed of my children’s progress?
In the beginning of the year we have a home visit as a part of the transition to preschool. During the school year we have two parent teacher conferences. Families will receive a progress report outlining strengths and next steps. Teachers are always available to meet with families on an as needed basis.
When will we know if we have been accepted into the program?
Typically letters are sent to families in mid June. Registration will be held July 28th and 30th.