Changes in Store for Curiosity Corner Preschool Coming Next School Year

Curiosity Corner Preschool, housed at Bushnell Elementary School ended classes last week.  Those in the 4’s classes graduated and are officially incoming kindergarten students. Teachers are cleaning up their rooms in preparation for summer vacation.  But that doesn’t mean planning for the next school year stops. Registration opened in March for classes starting in September. There are also some new things in store for preschool students and families.

Teacher Aids
During the 2017/18 school year, teachers of 4’s classes had a dedicated aid in their room.  This eliminated the need for parent volunteers throughout the school year. Parents could still come in and were encouraged to visit their child’s class, however it wasn’t a requirement as in past years.  

The addition of the aid saw a jump in learning in these classrooms.  An aid in the room each day who was able to get to know students and help work with them on projects meant for an added layer of stability and growth in the classroom.  Aids were able to get to know students’ personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and be a constant in the room.

This addition in the 4’s rooms was such a success, it will also be implemented in 3’s classrooms.  For the 2018/19 school year, all classes will have a main teacher and an aid. Lifting the volunteer requirement gives those who work full-time the opportunity to take advantage of the preschool program without having to worry about finding time to volunteer four or five times throughout the year.  

Extended Day Option for 4’s
Children in the 4’s program will have the opportunity to experience an extended day twice a week.  If enrolled in this section of the program, students will spend an additional hour and a half at school.  This time will include eating lunch with classmates and class time focused on math and science.

Incorporating an extended day will give students experience eating lunch away from home and spend a longer day in a school setting, both of which will help prepare for all day kindergarten five days a week.  The extended day option is limited to 16 students in each section. Those attending M/W/F morning classes will be in M/W extended day. Children in the T/TH morning group will be in the T/Th extended day session.  Students attending M-TH will be able to pick which group to attend.

Enrollment Currently Open
Children should be three or four by September 1 of the current year in order to enroll in the appropriate class.  And those attending any of the 4’s classes should be toilet trained prior to the start of the school year.

Those interested in enrolling in Curiosity Corner Preschool can fill out enrollment forms found on the Lowell Area Schools website.  The following class options are offered, although some classes are already full.  Morning classes are filled before afternoon sessions are opened up.
3’s – Monday and Wednesday class OR Tuesday and Thursday class – 9 am – 11:30 am or 12:15 pm – 2:45 pm – $110/month

4’s – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday class – *9:15 am – 11:45 am or 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm – $130/month
4’s – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday class – 9:15 am – 11:45 am – $160/month
4’s – Tuesday and Thursday class –  *9:00am – 11:30am – $120/month
4’s – Extended day two days/week – $50/month (sign up available after class placement)

*morning class filled

A registration fee of $40 is due at the time of sign up and is required to reserve a spot.  After August 1, this fee increases to $55.00. Tuition is due the first of each month September through May.  Students in the Lowell Area Schools footprint or are using LAS as school of choice are given priority placement, although children out of district are also accepted.  

Throughout the school year both teachers and Director Kathy Burch will send weekly newsletters to parents providing information about what was taught throughout the week and what is coming in the following week.  Parents and other family members are encouraged to be involved in the classroom and volunteer if possible. Students love having their special grown ups help out in class or during field trips.

Additional information can also be found on the Curiosity Corner Preschool Facebook page.  

TOTS Program for Early Childhood
In addition to Curiosity Preschool, those with children birth through age 5 have opportunities for play groups and classes to help children develop social skills and give caregivers the chance to meet others with children of similar age.  

Gymnastics classes with Miss Tammy, a Grand Rapids Gymnastics coach are always popular with kids (walking through 5) and grown ups.  Cooking and art courses are also offered throughout the school year on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Playgroups are offered twice a week for an hour each time in the Runciman building.  Play, story time, and snacks get kids ready for preschool. Family night activities also occur throughout the school year.  These one hour themed evenings promote family fun and socialization outside of a classroom setting.

Additionally, a fall and spring almost new sale gives families the opportunity to sell and/or shop for gently used items on a Saturday morning.  There is no cost to sell or shop at these events.

Over summer break TOTS will offer a handful of playgroups.  Check out their Facebook page for announcement information regarding dates and activities.  

Providing a Strong Foundation
Being exposed to social and educational opportunities prior to the start of kindergarten is important.  Curiosity Corner and TOTS Program for Early Childhood are both good ways for kids birth through five years of age.  Their motto is “In the end, it’s a good beginning that counts!”

Enrollment can be done online.  Registration payments can be mailed or dropped off at Bushnell Elementary School.  During the summer months please make arrangements to leave payment as the building may not be open.  Kathy Burch can be reached at 616-987-2693 to answer questions. She will be checking in throughout the summer and responding to inquiries.  

Photos provided by Curiosity Corner Preschool and used with permission.

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