BOARD POLICY - 5148.3
District Preschool Programs
The Board of Education recognizes that high-quality preschool experiences help children ages 3-4 years to develop knowledge, skills, abilities, and attributes necessary for a successful transition into the elementary education program. The district may contract with the California Department of Education (CDE) to provide preschool services in facilities at or near school districts, when feasible. The Board shall set priorities for establishing or expanding services as resources become available. In so doing, consideration should be given to the benefits of providing early education programs for at-risk children. In order to address potential growth in our underserved populations, the Board shall determine whether the district shall directly administer a preschool program or contract with a public or private provider to offer such a program.
Facilities for preschool classrooms shall be addressed in the district’s facilities master plan, including an assessment as to whether adequate and appropriate space exists on school sites. As necessary, the Superintendent or designee shall provide information to the Board regarding facilities financing options for preschool classrooms and/or facilities available through partnering organizations.
Because parents/guardians are essential partners in supporting the development of their children, the Superintendent or designee shall seek parent input in planning. Program staff shall encourage volunteerism and shall communicate frequently with parents/guardians of enrolled children regarding their child’s progress.
The district’s program shall be aligned with preschool learning foundations and curriculum frameworks developed by the CDE which identify the knowledge, skills, and competencies that children typically attain as they complete their first or second year of preschool. Program components shall address social-emotional, physical, and cognitive development in key areas that are necessary for kindergarten readiness.
The district’s program shall provide appropriate services to support the needs of English learners and children with disabilities.
To maximize the ability of children to succeed in the preschool program, the program shall support children’s health through proper nutrition and physical activity and shall provide or make referrals to available health and social services as needed.
The Superintendent or designee shall coordinate planning efforts for the district’s preschool program, transitional kindergarten program, and elementary education program to provide a developmental continuum that builds upon children’s growing skills and knowledge.
Pursuant to Education Code 48000, children whose fifth birthday is between September 2 and December 2 must be offered a transitional kindergarten (TK) program which operates as the first year of a two-year kindergarten program.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that administrators, teachers, and paraprofessionals in district preschool programs possess the appropriate permit(s) or credential(s) issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, meet any additional qualifications established by the Board, and participate in professional development opportunities designed to continually enhance their knowledge and skills.
Preschool admissions policies and procedures shall be in writing and available to the public. Such policies and procedures shall include criteria designating those children whose needs can be met by the program and services, the ages of children who will be accepted, program activities, any supplementary services provided, any field trip provisions, any transportation arrangements, food service provisions, and a health examination requirement. (CCR 18105; 22 CCR 101218)
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that subsidized preschool is provided to eligible families to the extent that state and/or federal funding is available and shall establish enrollment priorities in accordance with Education Code 8263 and 5 CCR 18106.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop and implement a plan of evaluation which conforms to state requirements. (5 CCR 18279)
The Superintendent or designee shall report to the Board regarding enrollments in district preschool programs and the effectiveness of the programs in preparing preschoolers for transition into the elementary education program.
Collaboration with Community Programs
The Superintendent or designees shall collaborate with other agencies, organizations, the county office of education, and/or private preschool providers (including, but not limited to, the Irvine Child Care Project and other agencies) to assess the availability of preschool programs in the community and the extent to which the community’s preschool needs are being met.
The Superintendent or designee shall provide information about preschool options in the community to parents/guardians upon request and establish partnerships with community preschools to facilitate articulations between preschool and the district’s elementary education programs.
Policy Adopted: June 27, 2017