Madison Local Schools is thrilled to have a Pre-kindergarten home for almost 190 students for the 2022-23 school year. Pre-kindergarten, or Pre-K, is a voluntary classroom-based preschool program typically aimed for students between the ages of three and five; this is the age range where students are older than preschool age, but not quite ready for kindergarten. Pre-K allows students to continue building skills developed in early preschool, such as vocabulary and language, collaboration and communication, and more.
The Madison Pre-K offers a four year-old grant program, special education evaluation and integrated classrooms, tuition-based classrooms, and classrooms specifically for three-year-olds. This school year, the program has shifted to Creative Curriculum, which includes developmentally appropriate goals and objectives for children with four main categories of interest: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language.
“Creative Curriculum allows for lots of study,” states Jovette Hiltunen, Pre-K Director. “We have also hired three new wonderful teachers with lots of interesting backgrounds to assist in this adjustment.”
According to Marquette University Child Care Center, there are five basic components that comprise Creative Curriculum, including:
- Knowing children – describes the social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development of children
- Creating a responsible environment – offers a model for setting up the physical environment for routines and experiences in ways that address the developing abilities and interests of children
- What children are learning – shows how the responsive relationship you form with each child, the interactions you have every day, and the materials and experiences you offer become the building blocks for successful learning
- Caring and teaching – describes the varied and interrelated roles of teachers who work with children
- Building partnerships with families – explores the benefits of working with families as partners in the care of their children
In addition to the incorporation of Creative Curriculum, Madison Pre-K embraces the PBIS program, focusing on three letters of the district “STREAK.” Students focus on Safe, Responsible, and Kind, and learn a song and a poem to remember what it means to be a Blue Streak. Students additionally identify any choices they make as Red/Green Choices, where Red symbolizes the need to pick another choice and Green is always correct. Red/Green Choices help our students learn the importance of being responsible.
Madison Pre-K also partners with Madison Public Library, which sends individuals in STEM to teach students about a new fun concept, such as learning about germs through liquid sanitizer and glitter; and Rabbit Run, which sends an artist or music specialist to teach how to move, sing, or be creative. Both of these occur once a month. Pre-K’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is also instrumental in helping out our students, teachers, and building; this year, the PAC put up a new fence around the playground.
Some exciting projects students are looking forward to this year include a Ball Study in our three year-old classroom, where teachers hope to build a wrecking ball to knock down blocks – don’t worry, hard hats will be worn – and a Clothing Study in the four year-old classrooms, where students will learn how different fasteners work, the importance of clothing, different textures of clothes, and more.