School board learns about daycare, transition programs

NEW ULM — School Board members and principals discussed Kids Connection and interschool transitions during their study session April 12.

Little Kids Connection, for preschool ages 3-5, is up by four in enrollment with a ratio of one staff person to 10 students. There is one lead teacher and two assistants for the 20-student group.

Nine students are signed up for the 2018 summer session.

Prices for the 2018-2019 school year, which is already full, will go up about $5 per day. The new registration fee will be $25 with a new weekly rate of $125 per week per child.

The school is looking to expand the program to add more students but needs two additional staff people first.

“We are looking into the possibility of expanding our program because there is a need within the community,” Coordinator Stef Dietz said.

Kids Connection, for kindergarten through sixth-grade, was full this school year with 149 students. That is up 17 students over last year.

Summer Kids Connection has 144 students split between the annex building for the younger kids and middle school for grades four through sixth.

Returning families have priority for the next school year. They can register early April 30 to May 4.

New families can register May 8. Morning, afternoon and all-day fees are increasing by $0.25 to $4.25, $6.55 and $27 respectively.

Dietz anticipates hiring new staff as some current staff are Martin Luther College students going on to teach.

Each principal at the meeting briefly went over how students transition between buildings.

Over two days kindergarten students tour Jefferson and first-graders read to them to adjust to the new building.

Fourth-graders and fifth-graders correspond as pen pals. Then the fourth-graders go to the middle school to learn about it and get tours from their pen pals.

The parents receive an orientation presentation later, in May, which is paired with a presentation for band immediately afterward.

When transitioning from middle to high school, guidance counselors began talking to students in February.

Non-public students get a chance to tour the building in May. Ninth-graders have their own first day, where they can adjust to the school and learn the rules.