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VCS Preschool FAQ
VCS Preschool FAQ
Lindsay Wonnenberg
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Valentine Community Schools

VES Preschool Configuration FAQs

Is Valentine Community Schools considering reconfiguring the elementary school? 

Yes. One of the options under consideration by the Valentine Community Schools is to create space at Valentine Elementary for two preschool classrooms. Currently, VCS is in a partnership with Head Start and this proposal would include moving that classroom to VES and then adding another preschool classroom also at VES.

Is there any space currently at VES to house a Pre-K classroom?

No. There have been some questions about whether there are already unused classroom at VES in which the preschool could be located. There are no classrooms available at Valentine Elementary; they are all occupied and would be for the foreseeable future. One option under consideration by the Valentine Community Schools is to move all future fifth-grade classes to Valentine Middle School to make room available at Valentine Elementary for two preschool classrooms.

Will it be required your child attends Valentine Elementary preschool?

No. In the state of Nebraska, preschool is not a requirement. 

What if my child turns five before July 31st, but I want to send him/her to preschool at VCS instead of kindergarten?

If your child is kindergarten age eligible, they would not be able to attend the district preschool. This is a state determination, not a district decision.  If you do not feel comfortable sending him/her to kindergarten (and they are not at the compulsory age), your options are to send them to another preschool in town or keep them home. Please see this chart if you have any questions about kindergarten age eligibility: https://www.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/K-EC-Program-ELIGIBILITY.pdf

How important is a quality preschool/early childhood experience for children?

High quality preschool learning experiences are increasingly important for children. Research is available from a number of sources, one of which is included through the following link:

http://www.firstfivenebraska.org/→ The Early Years are Important, Preschool

Was coming to the decision of expanding our preschool offerings rushed? 

No. Conversations concerning preschool have been happening for a few years and this topic was included in our school board meetings starting this last summer. It was at the October board meeting where the administration team at VCS presented a variety of options for expanding our preschool offerings. At the November board meeting, the board helped narrow it down to pursuing one proposal which was moving fifth-grade to the middle school to create room for two preschool classrooms at VES. The administrative team has been working hard for months to research, assess, and plan for these changes. We have been working closely with staff as we further plans. 

How did we come up with this plan?

Due to the district need of expanding our preschool offerings, we have considered expanding preschool availability in our District, which would in turn result in the need for the fifth-grade to be brought to the middle school to accommodate all students.