Local preschool programs

by rachel sluss | Reporter Published:

Streetsboro -- Residents have a few options when it comes to preschools for their children. Wait Primary School is a public preschool while Young Explorers Montessori School is private. Each has a different approach to teaching its students.

Wait Primary's integrated preschool program is available to children between 3 and 5-years-old. The program offers service to students who are delayed in different areas of development. Typically developing students serve as role models in the classroom. Research has shown students' progress in an integrated environment, Principal and Preschool Director Amy Cruse said.

"Our goal is to promote the development of the whole child by facilitating activities that allow for them to grow socially, emotionally and academically," Cruse said. "We strive to provide our students with a hands-on approach to learning in an environment that focuses on language and literacy development, physical well-being and motor development. All children benefit from being a part of a diverse, inclusive setting."

Young Explorers Montessori School, currently the most popular preschool in Streetsboro, has been in business 11 years, and its program is inspired by the Montessori method, which focuses on individualized teaching based on a child's natural curiosity and interests.

Young Explorers President Rita Scott said the program involves individualized teaching, as opposed to the public standard for children. There are often many variations to one lesson to focus on one child's needs.

"The preschool program is all about kindergarten readiness, confidence and socialization," Scott said. "We work to have the child feel confident and comfortable in the classroom and be self-reliant."

At Wait Primary School, teachers develop lessons based on Ohio's Early Learning and Development Standards, according to Cruse. The school reports data and assessment results to the Ohio Department of Education several times a year. The data is used on an individual basis to strengthen teachers' understanding of students' needs, and it's also used to analyze the preschool program as a whole.

"Our staff is knowledgeable and experienced and provides our students with a strong foundation to prepare them to be successful as they transition to kindergarten," Cruse said.

Wait Primary Preschool offers a speech and language therapist, an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. Therapists, teachers and students collaborate once a month to address motor, sensory, language, cognitive, social and emotional skills using the transdisciplinary Learn to Move, Move to Learn Program.

Each classroom is equipped with a SMART Board and there are eight iPads for students to use.

Wait Primary offers a morning and afternoon session. Hours are Monday through Thursday either from 8:45 to 11:15 a.m. or from 12:30 to 3 p.m

An information session regarding Wait Primary School's preschool program will take place Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. at the school. Applications for peer role models are available in the office or website.

Scott said because the teaching methods Young Explorers Montessori School are so individualized, the program works well for any child.

"It works really well for children who need a challenge and who are really bright, and it works for children who learn more slowly," Scott said.

The preschool program is offered to children age 3 to 5-years-old. The students spend time in their homeroom, gym, music room and playground at different times of the day. Children are also allowed time in the library loft where they can engage in reading activities. The program also offers homemade lunches the school's chef prepares daily.

"It goes back to notion that your child is going to have lessons just for them that they're going to be excited about doing," Scott said. "Our kids want to come to school on Saturday, it's awesome!"

Email: rsluss@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4162

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