By: Melanie Williamson
For years, Vermilion Local Schools offered a small preschool run through an independent company that was housed at the Vermilion YMCA. Last year, the preschool was moved to the Vermilion Elementary School, but still maintained one small class operated by an independent education company.
This year, the district has announced they are expanding the preschool and running it within the district. Brooke Spafford was hired on as the new preschool director. She comes to Vermilion from Sandusky School District. The district has put together a team of preschool teachers, paraprofessionals, and a wide range of counselors and professionals that will assist with the preschool students to ensure they are getting everything the need and prepared when it is time to start kindergarten.
According to the new preschool handbook, they are offering a “child-centered program that is devoted to meeting each child’s unique needs.” This program will integrate both special needs students and model peers. Model peers are “children without delays or disabilities who are integrated and participate along with the special needs students in the preschool program.”
Having the preschool located within in the Vermilion Elementary School provides the students an opportunity to become acquainted with the building and staff leading up to kindergarten. The program is designed for children ages three to five.
For model peer students, there is a $25 application fee upon enrollment, which is non-refundable. There is also a one-time supply fee of $37. The total tuition cost is $1350 per year; monthly payment plans are available.
There are scholarships available for families with a financial need. The applications for the scholarships are available with the preschool application forms.
There will be three preschool classes offered with a maximum of 16 students in each class. With those 16, eight spots are reserved for special needs students and eight spots are reserved for model peer students. If the program reaches maximum occupancy, children can be put on a waiting list for enrollment.
Each student receives a snack during class time and school transportation is available for all classes.
Students do not have to be fully toilet trained to start preschool. The preschool teachers and staff will work cooperatively with the parents or guardians to achieve consistent toilet training between home and school.
A preschool packet can be picked up at the Vermilion Elementary School. You can pre-register online by going to www.vermilionschools.org, click on the “parents” tab, and then go to “new student registration instructions.”