The school district's preschool program expects to have more than 300 children ages 3-5 enrolled this coming school year, which begins Sept. 4.
For the first time, preschool students are able to take part in the district's expanded dual-immersion program at Mt. Vernon Elementary, which offers instruction in English and Spanish.
The preschool program also has a parent education component, providing workshops on topics relating to the development of children ages 3-5 to parents throughout the school year.
Here's a look at the year ahead from the program's director, Donna Willson:
Lemon Grove Patch: Does your program have any changes in leadership?
Donna Wilson: I will still serve as the leader of the preschool program, however, my title has changed to Director, Early Childhood Education.
Lemon Grove Patch: Does your program have any new teachers?
Willson: At this time, no.
Lemon Grove Patch: What special events do you have planned for 2012-2013?
Willson: We plan to have our second preschool art festival in the spring.
Preschool will continue to partner with San Diego Master Gardeners and continue with our gardening projects.
The preschools at each site will participate in the events planned at each of the schools (open house, jog-a-thon, multicultural fair, Back-to School Night, etc.).
Lemon Grove Patch: How many students do you expect in your program?
Willson: We expect to serve 312 3- to 5-year-olds in our program.
Lemon Grove Patch: What's changed in your program this year that parents and students should know about?
Willson: We now offer dual-immersion preschool at Mt. Vernon Elementary. Our two preschool classes for students with special needs are now located on the San Altos campus.
Lemon Grove Patch: Who are your PTA leaders, and what special projects do they have planned? How can parents get involved?
Willson: Preschool parents may get involved with their school's PTA program by contacting the school office or their child's classroom teacher.
Preschool has a Parent's Advisory Team, which meets several times a year. This committee serves as an advisory team to me regarding the preschool program. It is compiled of parents, a teacher, the preschool clerk, and me.
Information is sent out to parents at the beginning of the school year [on how] to become actively involved and committed to serving on this team for the entire school year. Since preschool is either a one- or two-year program for families, we will need to seek new members this school year.
Lemon Grove Patch: Does your school district have any special new programs or events people should know about?
Willson: Senate Bill 1016 added Education Code Section 8239(e) and amended Sections 8263 (g) and (h) requiring agencies to assess family fees for families receiving part-day California state preschool services.
In a nutshell, since part of our preschool program is funded by the state, we now have to assess a family fee to each family that wants to attend our state-funded preschool. Fees are determined by using the family fee schedule issued by the California Department of Education.