Search Staff DirectoryBúsqueda en el Directorio del Personal


New CCSD59 Preschoolers Welcomed on First Day of New Preschool Program

August 1, 2017

A flurry of activity was happening at Ridge Family Center for Learning on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Parents and guardians held hands with some of CCSD59’s newest and smallest students. Families could be seen throughout the halls speaking to staff members and looking for classrooms, as curious Ridge students in kindergarten through 5th grade, who had their first official day of school the day before, were all smiles. Some of the “seasoned” Ridge students offered kinds words or directions as they welcomed their newest classmates to their school.

July 27 marked the kick-off of CCSD59’s new preschool program, which is hosted at Ridge but is open to all CCSD59 families with qualifying 4-year-old children. It is a new program for the 17-18 school year and is free to families whose children qualify to attend, even providing snacks and school supplies at no cost.

What is the difference between the program offerings at the ELC and the new preschool program at Ridge?

The ELC offers both a tuition-based program for children who are typically developing and a grant-based program (Preschool for All) funded by the state of Illinois. Children who are 3-5 years old, not eligible for kindergarten yet, and meet the program criteria may qualify under the grant. The ELC also offers special education programming for children who have special needs. All of these students are integrated into classrooms together to meet the needs of the grant.

The Ridge preschool program offers a free-tuition preschool program for typically developing children. There is an application process based on family income and access to public benefits and other state aid. This program is more aligned to a community preschool but is free for families that qualify.

Children who do not qualify to attend the Early Learning Center’s (ELC) at-risk or special education programs may still qualify to attend the new preschool program, which follows Ridge’s balanced calendar. CCSD59 offers a half day program with morning and afternoon sessions.

CCSD59 created the new preschool program to provide a high-quality preschool experience that will both meet the needs of families in the CCSD59 community and assist children with the transition into kindergarten.

“Our mission is to prepare students to be successful for life. Some of our students begin schooling in CCSD59 missing some essential experiences and skills that are necessary to begin kindergarten,” said CCSD59 Superintendent Dr. Art Fessler. “By providing these services, we are able to identify students with needs and develop and build skills and experiences that will improve a student’s chances of being increasingly successful as they begin schooling in our district.”

The program already has 62 families enrolled, with a maximum enrollment currently set at 80 students. Teachers in the program are trained in the same curriculum many community schools utilize and focus on intentional and appropriate activities to support development for 4-year-olds preparing for kindergarten.

According to Karen Starr, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, the program offers a hands-on, structured learning experience in a school setting with other children prior to starting kindergarten. Children may vary greatly in their preparedness for the social norms of a school environment, and getting acquainted to new environments can cause stress and anxiety that can influence a child’s perception of school. Having a strong, supportive introduction to a new learning environment can help set students up for greater success, especially when they begin kindergarten.

Kick-off day on July 27 included getting-to-know-you activities, a snack, picture day, and the opportunity for children to get acclimated to their new classrooms. It was a proud day for the CCSD59 staff who worked hard to see this program become a reality this school year.

“We are so privileged to have the resources available to be able to offer this program,” said Starr. “Our board of education is in full support of CCSD59’s early learning initiatives, and this program is a perfect example of how important early learning is to our district. Our goal is to prepare children to be successful for life, and the earlier we can reach them, the more likely they are to gain the foundational skills that will prepare them for school and beyond.”

  • Summer Instrumental Music Camp Students Put on One Cool Finale

    Summer Instrumental Music Camp Students Put on One Cool Finale

    During these hot summer months, the well-loved sounds of summertime are everywhere: Children laughing on playgrounds; lifeguard whistles and water splashing; birds singing well into…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Congratulations Class of 2017

    Congratulations Class of 2017

    To our graduating classes of 2017, we wish you a happy, safe summer and a great beginning to your first year in high school in…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Christine Orozco - 59 in :59

    Christine Orozco - 59 in :59

    As the final installment of the 59 in :59 series for the 16-17 school year, meet Christine Orozco, Devonshire’s LRC director and 27-year employee of…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Grove Junior High Students Performing in ‘Aladdin Jr’ See a Whole New World

    Grove Junior High Students Performing in ‘Aladdin Jr’ See a Whole New World

    The performers all stood on stage, smiling and waving to the audience. The student audience cheered and applauded, and as the stage curtain began to…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • CCSD59 Alum Soars to Eagle Scout Status for Rupley Service Project

    CCSD59 Alum Soars to Eagle Scout Status for Rupley Service Project

    Almost everyone has at least heard of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and many CCSD59 families either participate in BSA activities themselves, or know…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Veronica Rodriguez - 59 in :59

    Veronica Rodriguez - 59 in :59

    Veronica Rodriguez, fourth grade dual language teacher at Juliette Low, loved to read and go to school at a young age. As she grew up,…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • CCSD59 Students Shine at 3rd Annual D59’s Got Talent Show

    CCSD59 Students Shine at 3rd Annual D59’s Got Talent Show

    A yo-yo artist. A ukulele player with an original piece of music. A karate demonstrator. A pianist. A gymnast. A ballerina. A cup-stacking magician. And…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Junior High Electives Provide Students Choice Classes

    Junior High Electives Provide Students Choice Classes

    Here at CCSD59, we strongly recognize the importance of allowing students to help facilitate their own learning. Students who are able to provide input and…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Sara Magnafichi - 59 in :59

    Sara Magnafichi - 59 in :59

    Sara Magnafichi, a first grade teacher at Admiral Byrd for the last 12 years, wants her students to know she really cares about them. Her…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Christina Hoblin - 59 in :59

    Christina Hoblin - 59 in :59

    Christina Hoblin, who teaches band and orchestra at six of the eleven elementary schools in CCSD59, is someone whose life has always been influenced by…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Community Cares Closet Has Families Covered

    Community Cares Closet Has Families Covered

    Did you know that on average, it is estimated that only 20 to 30 percent of the clothes in a person’s closet are actually worn…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Global Community Committee Spreads Cheer at Juliette Low

    Global Community Committee Spreads Cheer at Juliette Low

    Around CCSD59, each school is celebrating the spirit of the season in their own way, providing students and staff with opportunities to experience the simple…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo