Frequently Asked Questions
Early Childhood Program
What curriculum do you use?
We use the framework of Teaching Strategies Creative Curriculum in our classrooms as well as the Pyramid model for teaching social skills. Both of these are research-based and developmentally appropriate 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. We align our curriculum district-wide using Preschool through Grade 12 state academic standards as well as meeting the federal Head Start Child Outcomes.
Where are the preschool programs located?
We have many early childhood programs throughout the district: Berthoud Elementary, Berthoud EC at Turner MS, Carrie Martin, Centennial, Cottonwood Plains, Coyote Ridge, Edmondson, High Plains, Lincoln, Monroe, Ponderosa, Sarah Milner and Winona. All classrooms serve children from all funding sources.
What paperwork is required to be considered for enrollment?
The first step is to complete an application. Next steps include a developmental screening and submission of required paperwork, which includes copy of birth certificate, immunizations, income verification.
When will I know if my child has been accepted into the program for beginning of the upcoming school year?
Children who qualify for Head Start, Colorado Preschool Program, or special education are placed in the program sometime in May and notifications go out go out by letter soon thereafter. Following the first round of placements, ongoing placements occur throughout the summer and fall. Please note, placement in our program is based on many factors-it’s not a first come first serve basis.
For tuition, families are notified by letter after March 5th if they have a spot in the program. They then need to sign the tuition contract, bring a copy of their child’s birth certificate, immunization records and also provide the first month’s payment. All students will need to submit a current physical prior to starting in a classroom.
Who attends our preschool?
We serve children who qualify for Head Start, Colorado Preschool Program, Special Education, and those who pay tuition. There will be children in the classroom who have an identified disability. 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 Education and is also licensed by the Colorado Department of Education as an early childhood teacher. Most of our teachers also have their Masters in Early Childhood Special Education.
In addition to the lead teacher, every classroom has at least one paraprofessional who is Early Childhood Teacher Qualified (ECT) as defined by Colorado Childcare Licensing. ECT teachers would be qualified to teach at a community-based preschool program. Speech and Occupational Therapist works in the classroom on a regular basis.
A lunch aide assists in serving lunch. Child and Family Support Paraprofessionals work with families/children who qualify for our Head Start program.
Our early childhood coordinator staff frequently go in and out of classrooms to provide support, feedback, coaching, and to get to know the children and families enrolled in the program. Background checks are completed on all staff including substitutes who come into the classroom.
Will my child eat at school?
Currently our program serves breakfast/snack and lunch. 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. The 3-hour program provides breakfast or snack and the 3½ hour program provides both breakfast/snack and lunch.
How will I be informed of my child’s progress?
At 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 their child’s strengths and next steps. Teachers are always available to meet with families on an as-needed basis.
Can I volunteer in my child’s classroom?
Yes!!! We encourage all parents to volunteer in or out of the classroom. We ask all volunteers to register.
When do classes meet?
We have both AM and PM options Monday through Thursday. Many preschoolers will need to attend in the afternoons.
Does my child need to be potty-trained?
Children begin our program at many different points in their potty-training experience. Our staff is very skilled at supporting this process.
Do I need to provide school supplies?
No. It is helpful for each child to have their own backpack. Occasionally teachers will post a classroom wish list, but nothing is required.