GCR-2 agrees to early preschool screening plan to gather information for tuition-based program

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 1/4/23

A tuition-based preschool program at the Gasconade County R-2 School District is still being discussed as Assistant Superintendent Dr. Staci Johnson on Dec. 19 asked the board of education to …

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GCR-2 agrees to early preschool screening plan to gather information for tuition-based program

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A tuition-based preschool program at the Gasconade County R-2 School District is still being discussed as Assistant Superintendent Dr. Staci Johnson on Dec. 19 asked the board of education to consider a few questions in order for her to move forward.

“We have four pages of frequently asked questions to discuss what a tuition-based preschool would look like and why and how it is feasible,” Johnson began.

She said the pages should have been attached in Board Docs, but due to an error, she would resend them via email.

“I will send that out, along with the updates as well as a draft of what tuition might look like,” Johnson continued. “The big thing I need to know from you guys is what other information you guys would need for us to move forward with screening?”

Johnson said they want to complete preschool screening earlier so they have a better idea of how many students they will be serving and if it would require more teachers.

“We also want to know of those, who would request a full-day option if it were available,” she said. “We are hoping to start that the second week of February.”

Johnson said she needs to know:

• What other questions and information the board has for her.

• Are they ok with the district advertising screenings after the holiday break but before the next board meeting?

“Or do you want me to wait until after the next board meeting to advertise screenings for the 2023-24 school year?” Johnson asked.

Board Director Jean Baker asked if the screenings would be advertised as screenings only. That they would not guarantee a preschool position in the classroom for the next school year.

“We would have to send out the eligibility for age, so we would say we would screen anybody who’s going to be ages 3 to 5 years old when school starts next year,” Johnson said. “Then when we do the screening, we will give them a questionnaire that gives them the opportunity for a full day or a half day, would you want transportation or not.”

Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy said the screening can be paid for with Parents As Teachers funding.

“The screening will look very similar to every other year,” Johnson said.

Baker asked if they would take teachers out of the classrooms for screening. She was told it traditionally takes one or two teachers from the classroom to help screen.

Preschoolers are screened all on the same day.

“Just so the board understands, this is still an exploratory understanding of the interests so we can do our due diligence as we move through the process,” said Board President Glenn Ely.

It was the board’s consensus that Johnson moves forward with advertising early preschool screening.

Johnson assured Hardy and the board that they would inform parents that the screening is not a guarantee of placement in the program. She told the board she would bring more numbers at the January meeting.

No votes were taken.

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