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G-R Superintendent News & Views-G-R’s Commitment to Early Childhood Education By David Hill Gladbrook-Reinbeck Superintendent

April 14, 2017
Northern-Sun Print
During my years as an elementary principal, one of my favorite times of the year was our annual Kindergarten Roundup. I loved observing and interacting with the eager-to-learn prospective Kindergarteners as they experienced many “firsts,” such as their first school lunch, their first PE class, and their first large-group recess. For some students and their parents, Kindergarten Roundup is their very first interaction with the public school. Years ago, this was the case for virtually every prospective Kindergartener unless they happened to have an older sibling in the school. At G-R schools, the Kindergarten Roundup is often NOT a child’s first interaction with the school. Gladbrook-Reinbeck offers a wide array of services to children even before they reach school age and is a leader among schools in our area in terms of the opportunities and services available to our communities’ young learners. Gladbrook-Reinbeck recognizes the importance of early childhood education and is committed to providing outstanding early childhood learning experiences. As G-R elementary prepares for its annual Kindergarten Roundup in a couple of weeks, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some information about the full range of services available to children that haven’t yet started school. TUITION FREE PRESCHOOL FOR 4-YEAR OLD STUDENTS We’re pleased to announce that tuition-free preschool for 4-year old students is coming to the towns of Gladbrook and Reinbeck in the fall. Starting in the fall of 2017, qualified 4-year old students will be able to attend preschool tuition-free through the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program This program will allow 4-year old students regardless of family income to attend the Reinbeck and Gladbrook preschools tuition-free. Eligible students must be four years old on or before September 15, 2017. This opportunity is made possible through cooperation with Crayon Corner Learning Center in Gladbrook and Little Rebels Learning Center in Reinbeck. The preschools provide a state-certified teacher trained in early childhood education and highly-qualified support staff, and offer the state-required minimum of 10 hours of quality preschool instruction per week. The programs use the Creative Curriculum, a research and evidence-based comprehensive curriculum. This curriculum addresses all areas of early learning: language and literacy, math, science, physical skills and social skills. It provides children an opportunity to learn in a variety of ways – through play, problem solving, movement, art, music, drawing and writing, listening and storytelling. Complete information and registration procedures are available by contacting Crayon Corner Learning Center at (641) 473-2600 or Little Rebels Learning Center at (319) 788-6120. CRAYON CORNER AND LITTLE REBELS LEARNING CENTERS Crayon Corner Learning Center and Little Rebels Learning Center are real assets to our communities. In addition to the tuition-free preschool program for 4-year old students, both centers also offer quality licensed daycare programs and before-and-after-school programs, as well as preschool classes for 3-year old students. Both Crayon Corner and Little Rebels Learning Centers are located in beautiful, modern facilities which are conveniently located in their communities, and are backed by support from independent boards of directors which work to ensure that the centers meet and exceed childcare standards established by the Iowa Department of Human Services. Tuition assistance may be available for 3-year old preschool. Parents desiring financial assistance for three-year-old preschool should contact the staff at Little Rebels or Crayon Corner for more information. ASSISTANCE FOR STRUGGLING LEARNERS Quality preschool, daycare, and before-and-after school care are just part of our commitment to early childhood learning. We also offer special education classes on-site at Gladbrook-Reinbeck elementary for qualifying students starting at age 3. Individualized speech instruction is also available for qualifying students under age 5, and in-home instruction may be available through our partnership with Area Education Agency 267 for struggling young learners even prior to age 3. If you have concerns about your child’s learning progress and are wondering if your child may qualify for any of these services, the staff at Gladbrook-Reinbeck elementary can get you pointed in the right direction. KINDERGARTEN ROUNDUP The annual Kindergarten Roundup will take place at Gladbrook-Reinbeck elementary May 4th & 5th, and the parent information meeting for prospective Kindergarten students will be held on Monday, May 1st in the elementary gym. The parents of ALL STUDENTS that will be age 5 on or before September 15th are invited to participate in this meeting, and ALL STUDENTS in this age range are encouraged to attend the roundup on May 4th and 5th. Yes, I said ALL STUDENTS who meet the age requirements are invited, even if… …You’re concerned that your child may not be mature enough for Kindergarten. The Kindergarten Roundup can help you to decide, and can introduce you to other options for your child such as our Transitional Kindergarten class. …You haven’t decided yet whether your child will attend G-R, another area district, a private school, or will be homeschooled. Yes, you have numerous options, but there’s NO RISK in checking out G-R and seeing what we have to offer. Even if you’ve already filled out open enrollment papers to attend another district in the fall, your child is still welcome at the G-R Kindergarten Roundup! …You’re thinking of open-enrolling your child to Gladbrook-Reinbeck but haven’t decided yet. There’s no better way to make an informed decision than to experience G-R first-hand. …You’re thinking of buying a home or moving to the G-R district but haven’t found the right place yet. If there’s a chance your 5-year-old child might attend G-R in the fall, why not give them the advantage of attending our Kindergarten Roundup so they can make friends, meet their future teachers and principal, and get “plugged-in” to the G-R learning community? If you know someone who fits one of the descriptions above and should consider sending their child to G-R’s Kindergarten Roundup, please help us to spread the word! It’s not too late to add a child to the list. Just call Gladbrook-Reinbeck Elementary at (319) 345-2822 to get signed up! TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN CLASS Gladbrook-Reinbeck is excited to offer a new Transitional Kindergarten class starting in the fall of 2017. Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is designed for students who meet the age criteria for kindergarten, yet lack the readiness kindergarten requires. It will be an academically based, every-day program meeting in the afternoons and following the district calendar. The TK program is designed to meet the needs of students to better prepare them for the full day kindergarten program the following year. A licensed teacher in the G-R Elementary Building will teach the class. If you’re concerned that your child may need another year of growth and maturity before starting the rigors of full-day Kindergarten, the TK program may be just the right fit for your child. Just like Kindergarten, there is no tuition charged for this program. The only cost to parents will be the same fees paid for grades K-4 at registration time in August. Students do not need to be residents of the G-R district to be considered for Transitional Kindergarten. Transportation can be provided for students residing in the district. The staff at G-R Elementary can help you decide if the Transitional Kindergarten is right for your child. Visit with principal Bradi Johnson during the Kindergarten Roundup, or give her a call at (319) 345-2822 for more information. I’m proud to be the superintendent in a school district and school community that understands the importance of early childhood learning. I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the early childhood opportunities that G-R has to offer, and I invite your questions and feedback. Just visit my blog at https://rebelsupt.blogspot.com/ or follow me on Twitter (my handle is @DavidRobertHill) to get the conversation started!

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