Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

The Unified School District 207 school board approved adding a preschool program for 3-year-olds next schoolyear during its monthly meeting Dec. 17 at the board office.

The board was briefed about the possible advantages and disadvantages to the program during the Nov. 25 meeting.

Advantages of adding the program include addressing the changing demographic of families assigned to and living on Fort Leavenworth; providing an educational and instructional base to prepare students for the 4-year-old preschool program; providing an opportunity to introduce and expose 3-year-olds to a structured school setting; supporting the educational preschool need on the Fort Leavenworth installation; and allowing the child development centers to adjust their current programs and expand in areas of need with fewer 3-year-old preschool students to serve.

Disadvantages include an increased cost of operations in adding a new program such as curriculum, staffing and resources; and the limited space that is currently available to accommodate a 3-year-old program.

The program will allow for enrollment of up to 60 3-year-old students split up into two classrooms with two sessions in the morning and two sessions in the afternoon.

Eligibility details for the new preschool program will be available in Spring 2020 at usd207.org.

Kansas Day
The annual Kansas Day event is 8:30 a.m. to 1:25 p.m. Jan. 29. Third- through fifth-grade students from all three elementary schools and Patton Junior High School students will attend. Currently, 16 vendors are signed up including three new ones featuring uses of the bison, Kansas paleontology and geology, and Friends of the Frontier Army Museum historic costumes.

State assessments
Kansas State general summative assessments will be given between March 16 and May 1. Mathematics will be taken by third- through eighth-grade students and will have two 45- to 60-minute sessions. English Language Arts will be taken by third- through eighth-grade students and will have two 45- to 60-minute sessions. Science will be taken by fifth- and eighth-grade students and will have two 60-minute sessions.

Mindfulness Club
During the meeting, the board approved the addition of a new club at Eisenhower Elementary School beginning in January 2020 — the Mindfulness Club.

The club, targeted toward fourth-grade students, is designed to help students discover social-emotional learning and character development with enduring effects.

“Jordan Martin, (Eisenhower technology, engineering, art, mathematics and science teacher) has been thinking about ways to help our kids learn how to self-soothe and calm themselves down when they have complications in their school life predominantly,” said Cindy Wepking, Eisenhower principal.

The duration of the program will be 10 weeks with two 30-minute sessions each week.

Guided meditation, journaling, yoga and breathing techniques are just some of the training techniques planned for the club.

Just as any other after-school club, students will need a signed permission slip from parents.

“I applaud the initiative,” said Myron Griswold, board president.

All board meetings are open to the public. For an overview of the meeting and the minutes, visit https://go.boarddocs.com /ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.

The next board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the board office.


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