The OSSD Early Education Program’s Philosophy
We believe that children learn best through a caring and nurturing environment where they can explore and learn through a variety of play experiences. We believe that learning opportunities should be developmentally appropriate and address all areas of development including social emotional, physical and cognitive development. The education of young children is a collaboration involving teachers, specialists, families, and communities.
OSSD Early Education Program
The OSSD Early Education Program has had three very successful years with about 36 students between the ages of 3-5 enrolled each year.
The program is the result of a recent State mandate that requires public school systems to offer universal pre-school options for all three, four and five year old children. Families who may not have access to high quality, licensed, pre-K programs because the programs in their area are already full; because they cannot afford the cost; or because there aren’t programs available in their region are able to take advantage of this new opportunity.
Pat Miller is the lead administrator for the preschool program and according to Miller, the program is being run out of Randolph Elementary School, but is open to families from all three OSSD sending towns. “We offer morning and afternoon sessions M-Th,” she said, “and our children are coming from a wide range of family situations. Some students have parents who work part-time, some have a stay-at-home parent who just needs a few hours to themselves and some are children whose families can’t afford private childcare. Children with special needs are part of the preschool and are really benefiting from being around typically developing peers. All in all, we’ve been extremely pleased with how everything is coming together.”
Susan Lancey, Director & Early Education Special Needs Teacher, echoed Miller’s enthusiasm. “I’ve been especially pleased to see the progress that some of our special needs children are making. We’re seeing growth in a number of areas, especially socialization and language for our preschoolers. Children are learning and interacting with their peers in a way that’s been very gratifying to see.”
The program is fully enrolled but families can ask to have their child on the waiting list in the chance that a spot becomes available . Once a student participates in the program, they will automatically receive a spot for the subsequent year. In the spring new applications can be submitted via the school’s websites.
Miller states that, “as an educator, it’s been my observation that children who spend time in high quality childcare or preschool benefit socially, academically, and intellectually, and I’m glad OSSD can be a part of that.”