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Bellevue Schools Craft Plan to Attract Families to Expanded Preschool Program

Preschool Director Tara Wittrock told the Bellevue Board of Education about her plans for the $150,000 preschool partnership grant that the district received from the Kentucky Department of Education
"This will allow us to find all the families in the city that have kids in the age group of birth to five," she said. "On the agenda, we have a request to create an early childhood Community Connector position. That person will essentially go door to door to find the families, and create individualized family services for them."
She said that there are 365 kids from birth to five years old in the city, but she can only account for 100 of them who are in daycare, Head Start or preschool at Bellevue.
Since educational processes start at birth, more cities and school districts are working to have programs in place to attract families into their classrooms.
Wittrock also said that they attended a school readiness summit in September in Frankfort, which was hosted by the Governmental Office of Early Childhood, and she explained that they learned to make action plans to better serve the families and children.
In addition, both the Head Start program and the daycare have applied for a grant of $15,000 apiece. Wittrock said they will know very soon whether they got the new grants.
In other actions, the school board voted to create the position requested by Wittrock. Board members also approved the student extracurricular participation drug testing policy. Student liason Brooke Maehren said some of the students are "freaking out" over the drug testing, which is random and will start some time in November, but she thought it was a good idea. Only the students participating in extracurricular activities will be randomly tested.
District support services director Janis Winbigler gave a report on the iPad initiative, a large effort to put iPads in grades kindergarten through five. Once officials installed backup software called Casper, the iPads became much easier for the teachers and the students to operate. She also said the district has been able to put ten iPads in the Title I reading program, eight in special education, and five in speech.  
In addition, there will be a group of thirty iPads that will be integrated in special areas.
Students from the schools were honored for having Tiger spirit, and given certificates and lanyards. Also, Jo Craven, a former educator in Northern Kentucky, awarded Grandview Elementary a Fidelity award in the Positive Behavior and Supports program.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Top photo: Grandview elementary was given a Fidelity rating in the PBIS program and received a banner
Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Students from Grandview elementary who received student of the month for Tiger spirit--Max Kunnen, Averie Baker, Zeke Fullman, Chloe Meyers, Savannah Hardy, and Carson Evers.