Director of Curriculum, Assessment and 4K MaryBeth Paulisse updated the Board of Education on the 4K program, which she took over last summer, at its regular meeting on Monday, April 8.
"This has probably become the most favorite part of my role,'' she said.
There are 325 students enrolled in the 4K program across 11 different sites and 21 sections in all for the 2018-19 school year. There are currently 260 students registered for 4K for 2019-20 and the District is projecting 350 students in the program, she said.
Paulisse noted because all but one of the 4K sites are not in District schools that professional development and collaboration are very important. Besides professional development days, she meets monthly with new 4K staff for support sessions. She also said every 4K community site will return in 2019-20.
Transportation for 4K students who are in the afternoon session will be available starting next year. In addition, more bilingual support staff will be available to support Spanish-speaking students. Middleton Baby and Childcare offers Spanish support this year, while Clubhouse for Kids will have a Spanish-supported classroom starting next year.
Five of the 11 sites are using Creative Curriculum, which was piloted at three sites a year ago. The remaining 4K sites will begin implementing Creative Curriculum next year. A Creative Curriculum classroom structure is play-based and also includes large group open meeting, small group time, interest area time, story time, and outside time, Paulisse said. The Creative Curriculum is aligned to the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards.
Social emotional growth continues to be an area of focus for 4K students, Paulisse said. Teachers are using the Second Step Early Learning program, which helps students become aware of their interactions with others and helps them practice ways to deal with strong emotions. Staff continue to use Handwriting without Tears to promote sensory and fine motor development along with literacy and early numeracy concepts.