The new district-wide pre-K program at the Manchester Elementary School provides students with the resources they need at a young age.
Director of Student Services Allison Collins and Superintendent Pamela Beaudoin said that this program serves special needs and general education for students ages three to five in Manchester and Essex.
The general education program is a fee-based community program.
Beaudoin said there have been some major improvements with new classrooms and double the space and staff. This was through a state grant called the Efficiency and Regionalization through the Community Compact program, and this program has a lot of benefits for both students and parents.
“[The benefits] include increased access to high quality, affordable preschool for children in the Manchester and Essex communities, consistent preparation of children for Kindergarten aligned with Massachusetts curriculum frameworks, developmentally appropriate programming and cohort grouping for three- and four-year-olds, and opportunities for typically developing children to play and learn alongside their peers with disabilities,” she said.
Collins said that this year the classroom size was increased to two, and there is also a dedicated preschool play area with about 20 students in the program.
She also said that this program has changed from a half day to a full day program and is able to accept more students this year.
Now, during the morning, students participate in circle time, hands on activities, pre-academics, and play-based learning. In the afternoon, students have nap time and recreational programming.
“We want to continue to work on building community awareness of the program and intend to continue our tradition of including students with disabilities and diverse needs,” Collins said.
Carson Komishane is the Cricket's high school journalist, and spoke with Superintendent Pam Beaudoin to learn more about the new Pre-K program at the Memorial School.