WELCOME TO THE MUSTANG FAMILY!
Welcome to Preschool! For many of you, this will be your child’s first school experience, and we are thrilled that you have chosen Westfall Preschool. There is an exciting year ahead designed to promote and enhance your child’s growth and development. This year promises to be one filled with discovery and joy as your child works and plays in an environment that is warm, safe, and challenging.
Our daily activities' structure is planned to help promote independence, self-confidence, and cooperation through large group, small group, and one on one activities. We will provide hands-on, interactive experiences that will enhance your child’s growth and development. The activities will incorporate instruction and skill reinforcement in reading readiness, math, writing, science, social studies, art, fine and gross motor skills, social/emotional skills, and language development. Your child will also have the opportunity to socialize with other children, learn more about themselves, and learn how to problem-solve.
The preschool staff and I look forward to working with you and your child. Research shows when children attend a high-quality preschool program, they will develop social and emotional skills, have better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies, and stronger basic math skills. We believe that communication is the key to your child’s success and to a great parent/teacher relationship, which is essential to your child’s development of a love for learning. We encourage you to contact your child’s teacher or myself if you have any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to a wonderful year.
Mrs. Megan Cooper
Preschool Coordinator/Assistant Principal
Our preschool program's philosophy is to provide a developmentally appropriate program for young children that fosters the whole child concept, respect each child as an individual, and stimulates the child’s natural interest in and enjoyment of learning.
Our long-term program goals include helping children:
To become creative, independent thinkers;
To feel competent, productive, and self-reliant, as well as fostering good self-esteem and sense of self-worth;
To develop a sense of responsibility for their own mental and physical health;
To understand that they are a part of a diverse, multicultural global community and their actions influence the quality of the community;
To foster the value that many kinds of intelligence-linguistic, logical/mathematical, musical, physical, spatial, and personal- are valuable and important to our community;
To encourage higher moral reasoning, helping children develop into adults with an internalized code of ethics and principles.
To prepare them for Kindergarten and the future of their education.
Our daily classroom practice and program objectives will be designed to support the program’s educational philosophy supported not only through its curriculum but also by the teachers, families, and parents involved in the program that provides role models for children.
We respect and believe in each child as a unique individual who can construct knowledge about themselves, others, and the world around them through active learning. Our goal is to help foster young children's creative thinking skills by giving them meaningful opportunities using play to experiment, explore, question, and discover.
At Westfall Elementary, we have 3 different preschool programs.
½ day Early Childhood Program for students with special needs and peer role models
½ day Early Childhood Program for peer role models
Full-day Early Childhood Program for income-eligible students offered through Head Start
½ Day Early Childhood Classroom (for students with special needs and peer role models)
Preschool students with special needs and peer role models participate in our center-based classroom for 3 hours and 20 minutes for four days per week (M, Tu, Th, Fri) during an AM or PM session. There can be up to 16 children in the classroom; 8 students with special needs and 8 peer role models. The preschool classroom is staffed with an Early Childhood Intervention Specialist and a minimum of one teaching assistant. Additional classroom assistants may be assigned if the needs of the students in that room necessitate additional staffing. Speech-language therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists are assigned to classrooms as prescribed by the Individualized Education Program (IEP).
PRESCHOOL PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS AND PEER ROLE MODELS
All school districts must provide services for students with disabilities who are three to five years of age. Specialized instruction and intervention services are provided for each child in accordance with a team developed, Individualized Education Program (IEP). Related services include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and transportation. Eligibility for the Special Education Preschool Program requires that children:
Are three to five years of age and not yet compulsory school age
Demonstrate a disability/exhibit significant delays
RESEARCH OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORTS THE BENEFITS OF AN INCLUSIVE SETTING FOR BOTH STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS AND PEER ROLE MODELS.
Students with Special Needs benefit from exposure to peer models.
Children with special needs learn through observation and modeling the behavior of their peers. As children with special needs observe and interact, the peer models provide a model of age-appropriate skills in social, behavior, play, speech, language, and motor development.
Peer role models benefit from the peer program in many ways.
Peers have opportunities to interact with children with a variety of special needs. Children learn compassion, tolerance, empathy, and accept/ celebrate differences and similarities among the classroom children.
The teachers are trained to be responsive to the individual abilities and interests of all children. Differing levels of ability and development are expected, appreciated, and considered when designing appropriate learning activities for students with special needs and peer role models.
Class sizes are small, with low student-to-teacher ratios. Our classrooms are staffed, with a minimum of one teacher and two assistants. Dependent on the students' needs in the classroom, additional assistants may be added to support students. Our early childhood options for peer models can serve up to 16 students (up to 8 students with special needs and 8 peer models).
½ day Early Childhood Program for peer role models
The majority of students in this classroom do not have an Individualized Education Plan; however, some students with related services are placed in this classroom. This classroom is held four days per week for 3 hours and 20 minutes during an AM or PM session. There can be up to 24 children in the classroom, and 16 students must be eligible for the Early Childhood Education grant. The preschool classroom is staffed with an Early Childhood Teacher and a minimum of one teaching assistant. Additional classroom assistants may be assigned if the needs of the students in that room necessitate additional staffing.
Full-day Early Childhood Classroom for Income Eligible Students offered through HeadStart.
Head Start is operated locally by Pickaway County Community Action Org., Inc. (PICCA) and federally funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to provide preschool experiences to 21 children ages 3 to 5 full-day class. Head Start operates a developmentally appropriate classroom and in accordance with the Head Start Program Performance Standards and the Ohio Early Learning Content Standards. Children will be encouraged to explore, create, problem-solve, and make choices throughout all parts of the day. Our school readiness goals for children, and the program include goals in five domains: physical well-being and motor development, social-emotional development, approaches to learning, cognitive development, and language development.
WHAT DO WE DO IN PRESCHOOL?
Westfall Local Schools follow the Ohio Department of Education Early Learning and Development Standards curriculum. This curriculum measures progress in six areas: fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, adaptive, social-communication, and communication development. The preschool's prepared environment of active play is designed to stimulate and challenge various developmental levels.
DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES THAT CHILDREN PARTICIPATE IN:
Literacy development helps children build an understanding of language and literature. It includes listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. These activities help build skills in areas such as communication, vocabulary, letter recognition, and comprehension. Storytime is designed to help preschoolers develop an appreciation and enjoyment of literature.
Math activities include hands-on and real-life experiences. These activities also help youngsters develop an awareness of numbers, geometry, patterns, measurement, and graphs.
Manipulative activities help students improve visual perception, hand-‐eye coordination, as well as problem-solving and social skills.
Circle time is a group gathering during which the day’s plans, ideas, and observations are shared. Circle activities are designed to stimulate thinking, enrich social skills, and expand attention span.
Art activities help preschoolers creatively express their thoughts and feelings. It also helps reinforce fine motor skills and concept development in areas such as colors, shapes, and size relationships.
Dramatic play activities help children express themselves, practice life skills, improve social skills, increase self-‐esteem, build vocabulary, and solve problems. Dramatic play is just plain FUN!
Music activities promote listening skills, creative expression, and social skills. In music, children can explore sound, volume, tempo, and rhythm.
Science activities offer children many hands-on opportunities for observation, exploration, investigation, making predictions, and experimentation.
Sand and water activities allow preschools to experiment with textures and the properties of different substances. These activities also promote the development of other skills such as math, science, and language.
Block play gives children experience with many different concepts such as shape and size discrimination, spatial relationships, number skills, balance, organization, cause and effect, and classification. Cooperative play skills, problem-solving, and creativity are also promoted in block play.
Gross motor activities give children the opportunity to use their muscles as well as their imaginations as they engage in fun, healthy exercises such as running, jumping, and climbing.
Fine motor activities help improve small muscle development and hand-eye coordination. Some common items that can be used in developing these skills include puzzles, laces, pegboards, and crayons.