Mission / Vision
By 2015 South Portland will offer universal access to high quality public pre-school for all South Portland 4-year olds in both school settings as well as appropriate, qualified community providers.
- Every child can learn.
- Every 4-year old has a right to a high quality pre-school experience.
- All areas of child development will be honored; social, emotional, physical and cognitive, aligned with Maine Early Learning guidelines.
- Pre-school classroom will be based upon positive behavioral supports.
- Best practice literacy/language experiences are embedded in child-centered comprehensive curriculum.
- Parent involvement is a key component for a successful pre-school 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 special needs, ELL, socio-economic, etc)
- Individual needs will be honored
- Transition to public kindergarten is more effective when children have experienced a quality pre-school program.
- Alignment of the pre-school program will be planned, transparent, and part of a planned relationship within the pre-K through 12 settings.
- The selection process will provide greater opportunity for "at risk" students.
The South Portland 4-Year Old Early Childhood Pilot Program will be based in the Brickhill/Redbank neighborhoods with a classroom situated in the Youth Alternative Family Center at 50 Lydia Lane.
How will program 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 which children can chose to participate in for as long as they want during Centers time. Blocks, water and sand tables, art, easel, dramatic play, puzzles and manipulatives, book and science areas all contain hands-on materials for children to explore, discover and play. The curriculum demonstrates use of the materials during "Morning Meeting"-and children always know the range of ways a material can be used. Because OWL is so concept and vocabulary rich, children tend to spend longer times engaged in each activity. The large group times are short (10-15 minutes each)and allow children to participate in activities such as singing songs, playing large motor games, asking questions, telling stories, and predicting experiment outcomes.
Class Size and Teacher to Child ratios
12-14 Students, 1 certified early childhood teacher and 1 certified educational technician
The vision of the South Portland Early Childhood program is that by 2015 South Portland will offer universal access to high quality public pre-school for all South Portland 4-year olds in both school settings as well as appropriate, qualified community providers.
Initially targeted programming will start in the Brickhill/Redbank neighborhood. Due to size constraints enrollment criteria will include the following:
- Preschool age 4 by Oct. 15th
- Currently residing in the Skillin School and Brown School neighborhoods
- 60% of enrollment will qualify for Free/Reduced lunch status
- Parents will agree to be actively engaged in the program and participate in training
- Lottery will be used to determine enrollment as needed
Sample Daily schedule
Teacher – Typical South Portland School Department Work Day
Students – 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. (5 days a week)
9:00-9:15am – Arrival of children-“Let’s Find Out About It”
9:15-9:45am – Handwashing/Snack
9:45-10:00am – “Morning Meeting”
10:00-10:45am – “Centers Time”
10:45-11:05am – “Story Reading”
11:05-11:35 – Outside
11:35-11:55am– “Songs, Word Play & Letters”
12:50-1:00pm-Get ready for bus/depart
Family Outreach and Parent Involvement
Barbara Bush Literacy Grant - Parents will agree to be actively engaged in the program and participate in training programs coordinated through the Barbara Bush Literacy Grant
Snack and Lunch will be provided.
Transportation will be available for students through the School Department.
Working in conjunction with the school department a transition meeting will be held each spring to review student progress and needs prior to Kindergarten Screening and orientation.