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Roseville expands preschool classes

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 29, 2015

ROSEVILLE — Roseville Community Schools has expanded its preschool Great Start Readiness Program offerings, turning some of its half-day preschool sessions into full-day ones that run Monday through Thursday.

The district offered seven half-day programs at the start of the year, but in November changed that to two full-day programs and three half-day ones, according to Curriculum Director David Rice.

“What we did is we made two of our half-day sessions into full-day sessions,” Rice said. “So if you’re thinking of four (preschool) classrooms, two were made full time.”

Rice said the district made the change because of how many parents had called over the summer asking about a full-time preschool session, and upon finding out the district did not have one, they started looking at competing programs.

Additionally, the district had 82 of its 112 licenses filled — each license being good for one child per half-day session — so Rice said they had licenses available to change over some of those kids to a full-time session, which requires two licenses per child.

Now, he added, all the licenses are being used, though the district still has 82 kids overall in its GSRP.

Preschool teacher Jill Flaherty said both of the preschool program curriculums include group activities, “large muscle play” to help motor skill development, music, movement time, stories and “free choice time” where kids decide what they want to play and then talk about it afterward.

The full-day program also includes breakfast and lunch, along with naptime, she added. Both programs also have ways for parents to get involved, though Flaherty said there are greater opportunities with the full-time program.

“Half day is a really good program too, but it’s just nice not to hurry,” Flaherty said. “One thing I do enjoy is that the full day (program) does provide additional time for kids to explore and discover and make friends.”

Rice said applications should open up in the spring for next year’s preschool program, with the two existing full-time sessions continuing.

Rice said he plans on getting in touch with Macomb County about getting more GSRP licenses so the school can add more students, and he is interested in getting more full-time sessions if the program can get access to more classrooms.

The program currently uses four classrooms in Huron Park Elementary School, he said, all located next to each other. Any additional ones need to be certified for child safety, a process that has not started yet; Rice said none of that will get done until after the New Year’s holiday.

“We’re just trying to grow it,” Rice said. “The real plan is for growth and sustainability to support more people in the area with the full-day program than we have been able to.”

Rice said he has other ideas on how to expand the program, but has yet to formally run them by the district.

The Roseville GSRP is open to anyone living in Macomb County, he added. It runs Monday through Thursday. Full-day sessions begin at 8:45 a.m. and run until around 3 p.m.