Welcome to Preschool

Preschool registration for new families will begin the week of September 7th. Please call your home school to request preschool registration paperwork. If you have specific concerns for your child, please call Harnew School at (708) 599 - 7070 and ask to be transferred to Diana Brown.

Welcome to the District 122 Preschool for All Program. We are delighted you have chosen us as your child’s first formal instruction to school. Our program has classrooms at both Harnew and Columbus Manor Elementary Schools. It follows both the district and schools’ philosophy and goals. Our Preschool for All program is funded through a grant by the Illinois State Board of Education. It is an at-risk preschool program that focuses on providing high quality preschool instruction to those students determined to be at-risk for academic failure in school. Many factors play a role in putting a student at-risk for having difficulty in school, including family, language, and academic factors. Eligibility is determined through a preschool screening and a family interview.

Our preschool program meets five days a week, for 2 ½ hours per day, either in the morning or in the afternoon. It follows the District 122’s calendar, with students attending from mid-August through the beginning of June. It is free of charge. All of our classrooms have 20 students per room with one teacher and one assistant. All of our teachers hold a Type 04 Early Childhood certificate, with many holding additional endorsements in special education and English Language Learning.

Our program uses Creative Curriculum which centers on building the child’s self-confidence and social interaction skills. This curriculum emphasizes the use of learning centers, individual and small group instruction; and play-based learning revolving around monthly themes. The areas emphasized are: Social/Emotional Development, Self-Awareness, Social Studies, Language Arts/Communication Development, Gross /Fine Motor, Math/Science Development, and Academic Development.  The students are assessed using Teaching Strategies GOLD, which is aligned to the Illinois Early Learning and Developmental Standards.

FAQs

How do I register my child for the Preschool program?
You must go to your home school (Columbus Manor, Harnew, Kolb or Lieb) between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm to prove residency and complete a preschool registration packet. At this time, you must also show your child’s original birth certificate. After the registration paperwork is complete and residency has been proven, the preschool secretary will call the family to set up a preschool screening date and time. Every preschool student must be screened before they can begin preschool.

Where is the Preschool program?
The Preschool Program serves children throughout the entire district.  Due to space and program requirements, the preschool classrooms are located at Harnew Elementary School (9101 S. Meade Avenue in Oak Lawn).

What are the days and times of the Preschool program?
The Preschool program meets 5 days a week, Monday through Friday, for 2 1⁄2 hours per day. The morning session meets from 8:25am to 10:55am and the afternoon session meets from 12:20pm to 2:50pm. The preschool program follows the district calendar.

How much does the Preschool program cost?
The Preschool for All program is free of charge. There is no registration fee. Materials and snack are supplied by the school. Families will need to provide a backpack, change of clothes, and pull-ups, if necessary.  

Does my child have to be screened?
Yes, all preschool children must be screened before they can start school. The children are tested in the following areas: motor, concepts, language, self-help, and social-emotional development. Screening results are shared with the parents during the screening. In addition to screening the children, an interview is completed with each family.  

You do not need to be 3 years old to be screened. The district screens children aged 2 years 6 months and older.

I have concerns about my child’s development, how do I get my child speech therapy or special education services?
You must go to your home school (Columbus Manor, Harnew, Kolb or Lieb) between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm to prove residency and complete a preschool registration packet. At this time, you must also show your child’s original birth certificate. After the registration paperwork is complete and residency has been proven, the preschool secretary will call the family to set up a preschool screening date and time. More comprehensive evaluations for special education services are also completed as needed.  

If your child currently receives Early Intervention Services, the school district will be in contact with the family to schedule a transition meeting and talk about the transition from Early Intervention to Preschool. 

How old does my child need to be to start preschool?
For the Preschool for All program, the student must be 3 years old on or before September 1st of the school year the child will be enrolled. For example, for the 2020-2021 school year, a child must be 3 years old on or before September 1, 2020 to start preschool in August 2020. However, if the student qualifies for special education services, he/she may be able to start school on the third birthdate. 

How many children and adults are in each room? What are the teacher qualifications?
The district has several different types of preschool classrooms.   A Preschool for All classroom can have up to 20 children in the room with one teacher and one assistant. A Blended Preschool for All room can have up to 20 children with one teacher and two assistants. An Early Childhood Preschool room can have up to 10 children with one teacher and two assistants.  The Preschool teachers in the program must all hold Type 04 Early Childhood Teaching Certificates through the State of Illinois, and have an endorsement in ELL. Blended Preschool teachers also hold an endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education.  Many hold Master level degrees in Early Childhood.

Do parents have to participate in the Preschool Program?
Yes, all parents of students in the preschool program must participate at least one time per month, October through May. A parent must do one of the following each month:

  1. Volunteer in the child’s classroom,

  2. Use the Preschool Lending Library,

  3. Attend a Preschool workshop,

  4. Attend a Preschool Family Night or social program.

Mrs. Laura Rogers

Principal of Preschool and Prevention Initiative

708-599-7070 ext. 5705

lrogers@ridgeland122.com

Mrs. Diana Brown
Preschool Parent Coordinator and Instructional Leader
708-599-5550 ext. 5142
dbrown@ridgeland122.com

Mrs. Idette Guerrero
Secretary
708-599-7070 ext. 5143
iguerrero@ridgeland122.com