Preschool classes for 4-year-olds may be at Windsor Place nursing home next fall.
Dr. Craig Neuenswander, superintendent of schools, told USD 257 board members Tuesday evening experiences with having a kindergarten class at its facility in Coffeyville led Windsor Place owners to encourage something similar in Iola.
Today, a preschool with 27 students divided between morning and afternoon sessions is in Lincoln Elementary School.
Windsor Place would remodel a room and provide telephone, Internet and utilities in its Iola home at 600 E. Garfield St.
“The people at Windsor Place are excited and we’re excited,” Neuenswander said.
He noted that since the classroom would be in a nursing home environment, it easily would fall within physical requirements necessary for schools.
USD 257 is authorized to have 24 preschool students and received state permission to have the 27 involved in the program this year. In another year Neuenswander said classes likely would revert to the 24, with 12 in a morning session and 12 in an afternoon.
SAFE BASE director Angela Henry told board members she had filed an application with the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City that would ensure the program for another three years.
She is seeking $288,000 for next year and $880,000 for three years.
This afternoon Henry was to visit with Iola commissioners about the city providing $53,000 for the program over the next three years. She said city participation would enhance the likelihood of success of the grant application.
Henry also mentioned several things that SAFE BASE would do in succeeding years to enrich and enliven participants’ experiences. Among them is a garden program, modeled after the one that Sheriff Tom Williams created for inmates at the northeast corner of downtown Iola last summer.
She said students would learn how to raise a garden, the benefits of fresh vegetables and then share produce with parents in a meal toward the end of the project.
AT THE conclusion of a 30-minute executive session to discuss professional negotiations and nonelected personnel, board members accepted the resignation of Sherise Maness, a Jefferson Elementary kindergarten teacher, effective at the end of the spring semester.
Neuenswander reported that an anonymous $25,000 donation had been received to help pay for track and football field improvements in Riverside Park. The project cost about $1 million and was paid out over three years, mostly from the district’s capital outlay fund, in which the donation was deposited.
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