MPCSD will offer preschool this year
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
It’s a go.
The Mt. Pleasant Community School District will be participating in the state-funded preschool program.
“We have lots of little stuff yet to be done,” MP Superintendent of Schools Mike Wells said this morning. “The board (of directors) has been very supportive. The board wants what is best for children, and I applaud their efforts.”
Wells said he hopes to have the preschool operating no later than Sept. 15 but hopes the program can be launched much sooner. “The big hold-up is getting a teacher and reaching families. We also have to do dental checks (on students), lead testing and a lot of other things.”
Mt. Pleasant existing preschools — Grasshopper Green, Little Bees and Head Start — have agreed to partner with the district in the community preschool.
The teacher hired by the school district will spend half her/his time in Mt. Pleasant and the other half in Salem. The superintendent said he is hoping to find an instructor who is bilingual.
A community preschool has been one of Wells’ goals since assuming the Mt. Pleasant post on July 1.
The district will receive no state funding during the 2013-14 school year (state funding always arrives a year late) but will receive around $4,000 a student from the state as long as it offers the program.
Wells said there are around 45 four-year old students who are not enrolled in preschool this coming school year.
Regarding location, Wells said it may be hosted in the school’s central office or at Van Allen Elementary School dependent upon enrollment.
“Twenty-five percent of our students do not have exposure to preschool and 20 percent are not proficient (measured by standardized testing). There is a correlation,” he said, a correlation he hopes to eliminate.
Mt. Pleasant School Board members gave their blessing to a preschool during a July 29 work session.