Warmth and Wonders Preschool wants to become a part of W-MU School
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
WINFIELD — Warmth and Wonders Preschool would like the Winfield-Mt. Union school district to absorb their three-year-old program, and made the request at Wednesday night’s school board meeting.
Emily Kann and Mary Miller, both representing Warmth and Wonders Preschool, were at the school board meeting to present to the board their reasons that W-MU should absorb their three-year-old program.
Financial stability was one of the primary reasons presented to the board by Kann.
“As an independent board, even though we are a non-profit organization, we are finding that it is not, for lack of a better word, cost effective for us to continue. As an independent board, we have a lot of Department of Human Services (DHS) requirements that we have to fulfill in addition to what the school is already doing, and Mary (Miller) as our director and teacher does a lot of that and she is being compensated, but not nearly enough,” said Kann. “There are additional taxes and insurance expenses. Our objective is not to make money, but we are finding it more and more cumbersome to meet all of the regulations and ask that of our staff.”
“The statewide voluntary preschool program that we have for our four-year-olds has a set of standards that we call Quality Preschool Program Standards and then the three-year-olds have DHS regulations,” explained Miler. “There is some overlap, but not all of it and there is far more paperwork and training involved for the staff.”
“Mary (Miller) basically does it all and even though she is compensated, it really doesn’t cover all of the time that she puts in to it,” said Kann. “If the school would absorb the three-year-old program, a lot of the additional expenses would go away.”
Kann also expressed the possibility of the program helping increase enrollment for W-MU.
“We think the three-year-old program is beneficial to the school, because if you get the kids in early to the school system, they become familiar with the school, teachers and staff and then they are going to stay,” said Kann. “I think our preschool’s reputation is going to impact a lot of young families who are kind of still deciding where to send their kids to school.”
In hirings and resignations, the board approved the resignation of Barb Pealer as head cook and the hiring of Brad Doerring as K-12 physical education teacher and approved hiring Gabriel Wylder as elementary principal and curriculum director.
Wylder comes from Cedar Rapids, where he has spent approximately two years as an elementary associate principal and has also spent six years as a third-grade teacher.
“Everybody had nothing but good things to say about him. The University he attended had nothing but good stuff to say about him,” said Pat Coen, W-MU superintendent.
The board also approved administrative contracts as follows: Superintendent, $113,720; high school principal, $88,000; elementary principal/curriculum director, $72,000.