New Hybrid Preschool Program Explored in Ludlow Between Schools & Children, Inc.
The Ludlow Board of Education is discussing an agreement with Covington-based Children, Inc to collaborate on a hybrid preschool. At the regular board meeting this week, the members discussed the pros and cons of offering Ludlow parents the option of a full day of preschool at basically a half day price. Half of the day would be under the tutelage of Ludlow's preschool teacher, and the other half would be under the supervision of Children, Inc's regular preschool program with an assistant teacher from Ludlow overseeing the program.
The child would be at the same place the entire day so there would not be any disruption or need for a parent to pick up the child in the middle of the day. The main advantages would be that the preschool hours would be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the program would be year-round so there is no need to scramble to find care for the summer months.
"This is a help to those parents who need a full day of preschool care," said Jenny McMillen, College and Career Readiness Coordinator for Ludlow Independent Schools. "We miss getting the preschoolers into our school program if we can't offer a full day of preschool, because the parents send them to wherever they can get a full day of child care so they can work. "
In this program, the half of the day that would have been spent in Ludlow is free, but the child will be at St. Ann's school in the Botany Hills neighborhood of Covington which is just outside the Ludlow city limits. The second half of the day would be at the same place but the parents would pay on a sliding scale.
Children, Inc. is looking into buying the old St. Boniface/St James building so they can keep the children in a program in Ludlow.
"Our district's mission includes meeting the needs of the families in our community," said Superintendent Michael Borchers. "This hybrid preschool program extends new opportunities to our families who need all day child care in a quality program. We are excited to partner with Children, Inc. for this full day hybrid preschool blending our program with theirs. I believe our families will appreciate having the choice between half day and full day programs. Starting our work earlier with children is essential for getting them better prepared for kindergarten."
Borchers went on to stress that this is not a done deal. A few board members wanted to look a little further into the costs of the program for the parents so no final decision was made. A tour of the St. Ann facilities may be arranged for the members of the board.
The board did approve a continuation of the Summer Food Service program which is funded by the federal meals program. With this program, any child in Ludlow can come into the school during the summer and receive breakfast or lunch without any questions asked. If they are hungry they can come and eat. This serves the Summer Shine program also.
Additionally, the board approved an amended calendar for the teachers which requires them to attend professional development days for a few more days into June. The last day for the students is June 3.
Story & photo by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor