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South Portland Preschools

Our preschools are located at Kaler and Skillin Elementary Schools.

Sixteen students at Kaler and sixteen students at Skillin attend our preschools, each with one Certified Early Childhood Teacher and one Certified Educational Technician.

Mission/Vision:

South Portland School Department will offer universal access to high quality public preschool for all South Portland four-year olds in school settings as well as appropriate, qualified community providers.

Beliefs:

  • Every child can learn.
  • Every four-year old has a right to a high quality preschool experience.
  • All areas of child development - social, emotional, physical and cognitive - will be honored and aligned with Maine Early Learning Guidelines.
  • Preschool classrooms utilize positive behavioral supports and strategies.
  • Best practice literacy/language experiences are embedded in child-centered, comprehensive curriculum.
  • Parent involvement is a key component for a successful preschool experience.
  • Communication and relationships between parents and teachers are essential.
  • All teachers are qualified and demonstrate ongoing involvement in high quality professional development.
  • Children thrive within an inclusive environment (children with CDS services, ELL, socio-economic, etc.).
  • Individual needs will be honored.
  • Transition to public kindergarten is more effective when children have experienced a quality preschool program.
  • Alignment of the preschool program will be planned, transparent and part of a planned relationship within the preschool through grade 12 settings.

Program Implementation:

How will preschool programs provide developmentally appropriate practice?

The South Portland Preschool program will use OWL (Opening the World of Learning) as its curriculum. OWL covers all aspects of development and its activities meet the learning needs of four-year-old children. The classroom contains a variety of learning areas that children can chose to participate in for as long as they want during Centers Time. Block Area, Water/Sand Table, Art Table, Art Easel, Dramatic Play, Puzzles & Manipulatives, Book Area/Listening Center, One Friend Space, Science/Math Area and Computer, all contain hands-on materials for children to explore, discover and play. The teacher demonstrates use of the materials during Morning Meeting so that children always know the range of ways the materials can be used. Because OWL is concept and vocabulary rich, children tend to spend longer times engaged in each activity. The whole group times are short (10-15 minutes each) allowing children to participate in activities such as songs, poems, math & whole body games, asking questions, telling stories and predicting experiment outcomes.

Class Size and Teacher to Child Ratios

Sixteen students at Kaler and sixteen students at Skillin, each with one Certified Early Childhood Teacher and one Certified Educational Technician.

Enrollment

  • Preschoolers are age four by October 15th
  • Family currently resides in South Portland
  • Parents will agree to be actively engaged in the program and participate in training
  • Parents agree to promote and model good school attendance
  • A lottery will be used to determine enrollment as needed

Sample Daily Schedule at Kaler

Teacher – Typical South Portland School Department Work Day

Students – 8:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. (5 days a week)

8:30 a.m. Arrival & Movement

8:40 a.m. Let's Find Out About It/Let's Talk About It

9:00 a.m. Handwashing/Breakfast

9:30 a.m. Morning Meeting

9:45 a.m. Center Time

10:50 a.m. Songs, Word Play & Letters

11:15 a.m. Handwashing/Lunch

11:45 a.m. Story

12:00 p.m. Small Groups

12:25 p.m. Closing Circle

12:30 p.m. Getting Ready/Outside

1:15 p.m. Bus Departs

Sample Daily Schedule at Small

Teacher – Typical South Portland School Department Work Day

Students – 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. (5 days a week)

9:00 a.m. Arrival & Let’s Find Out About It/Let's Talk About It

9:15 a.m. Handwashing/Snack

9:45 a.m. Morning Meeting

10:00 a.m. Center Time

10:45 a.m. Story

11:05 a.m. Outside

11:35 a.m. Songs, Word Play & Letters

11:55 a.m. Handwashing/Lunch

12:30 p.m. Small Groups

12:50 p.m. Get Ready

1:00 p.m. Bus Departs

Family Outreach and Parent Involvement

Parents will agree to be actively engaged in the program and participate in training coordinated through the preschool staff.

Nutrition

At Skillin, preschoolers bring healthy morning snacks and lunch is provided. At Kaler, both breakfast and lunch are provided.

Transportation

Bus transportation for all preschoolers will be available through the South Portland School Department.

Kindergarten Transitions

Teachers will collaborate with Child Development Services, the South Portland School Department and families to review progress and individual needs for children prior to their transition to kindergarten.