By Diana Bowley of the news staff -DEXTER - Recognizing the benefits of prekindergarten schooling, SAD 46 directors voted Wednesday to explore offering it.
An ad hoc advisory committee will be formed of parents, educators and residents to determine the public's interest in such a program and its development. The committee will be expected to report its findings to the board in December.
The discussion is timely because the district is proceeding forward on a plan to construct a new elementary-middle school, Superintendent Kevin Jordan said Thursday.
"I think prekindergarten is very important," Jordan said. "We have to begin these discussions now as we look forward to the new school."
Jordan said it is well known that most children who have been enrolled in a prekindergarten program, whether private or public, are better prepared for kindergarten than youngsters who have been in day care.
He guessed there could be about 30 children eligible for the non-mandatory program.
If prekindergarten schooling has support from the community and the board, the design for the new elementary-middle school will include classrooms for the program, Jordan said.
The program offering, however, will be contingent upon approval by residents of the new school construction late this year or early next year, according to Jordan. There is no space available otherwise.
The directors also voted to form an ad hoc advisory committee to discuss the disposition of school buildings that will become vacant if the new school is approved by residents.
Those interested in serving on these committees should contact the district office at 924-5262 or contact the school director in their community.
Two committees already have been formed regarding the new school development. A public relations committee has seven volunteers, and a buildings, space and programming committee has 19 people involved, according to Jordan.
Also Wednesday, Jordan gave an update on the high school roof project. He said the replacement roof over the north wing of Dexter High School was completed in time for the opening of school. The new portable classroom at the Garland Elementary School also has been completed.
The next board meeting was set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, in the high school.
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