A teacher’s perspective
This letter is in response to Roland Zimmerman’s letters regarding the preschool. I would like to thank Mr. Zimmerman for stating that Family Learning Center has done a great job with educating Tiffin City’s preschool students for the last 20 years. It has been noted Tiffin City Schools has won many accolades over the past several years. Could it be the current preschools in the area are giving children the foundations to be successful? Why would you want to change that if it is showing that kind of success?
I do wonder why Mr. Zimmerman only mentions Family Learning Center and our preschool children and not the other eight preschools in the area. Could it be the money? In his first letter, he did not even mention servicing special needs children. We are first and foremost a preschool for special needs children!
1. We perform pre- and post-evaluations on all children in all domains of development. To assess our students, we use the “Get it, Got it, Go,” the Early Childhood Outcomes summary, two student learning objectives, the Ages and Stages questionnaire, progress reports on individualized education plans, Gold Assessment Portfolio on every child (aligned to our curriculum – which is the same one TC chose), daily anecdotal notes, work samples and a portfolio which consists of each developmental domain. We also send home daily notes to parents and have special family activities, parent/teacher conferences, a Facebook page, home visits and IEP meetings. Because these are already in practice, we must be one of the state’s best preschools!
2. The teachers at Family Learning Center are evaluated using the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. The North Central Ohio Educational Service Center adopted that all teachers have three walk-throughs and two formal observations.
3. If you are planning to enroll some students free of charge, how will that be cost effective for TCS? Is it the intent of TCS to take the funds for children with special needs and instead use it for children at-risk and typical? At FLC, we have 14-16 children in classrooms with a teacher and a paraprofessional. How are you saving money if your ratio is higher? And about saving money … I don’t think there has been any accurate quotes or information presented yet.
4. Lincoln may have stayed open and used for various functions, but is it ready to be used for children with special needs?
5. Since not using the services from NCOESC for physical therapy and occupational therapy, I have noticed as a teacher an inability to coordinate services, trouble shoot, incorporate services into daily activities of a child, availability of therapists to attend IEP meetings and contact with parents, flexibility in scheduling, and support to children with sensory and eating needs. Is the money you are saving worth the bare minimum of services?
I do not believe the administration of TCS is capable or ready to open a preschool for special-needs children and do it with the savings they project. After recent events that have taken place involving the board and administrators of TCS, I have very little faith in their ability to lead or make important decisions for our children of Tiffin City Schools. This is an important issue to me because I am a teacher at FLC; however, I also am a parent of a child at TCS, and a taxpayer. I urge all parents and taxpayers to attend board meetings to find out what decisions are being made in our schools. We do agree on one thing, Mr. Zimmerman; we do have great teachers and students!