New preschool coming to Battle Ground High School
March 31, 2022
Battle Ground Public Schools is preparing to launch a new preschool. Starting next September, Battle Ground Preschool will initially offer a morning session from 8:30-11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Battle Ground High School. An open house will be held on the evening of April 13 for interested families.
The new preschool will be modeled after the popular Prairie Preschool program on the Prairie High School campus. There, high school students studying child development are able to work with preschool students, including children with disabilities. “It’s not like we’re just babysitting,” said Maxine Kellum, a senior at Prairie who is in her first semester working in the program. “We’re actually learning about brain development and how kids grow up.”
Child Development I and II is part of the Family and Consumer Sciences pathway offered through the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. CTE offers middle and high school students the opportunity to engage with a variety of industries, including engineering, healthcare, culinary arts and much more. In higher level CTE courses, students often can earn college credit and learn the same skills that they would have to pay to learn in college.
Through the Child Development pathway, students can earn both college credit and their initial STARS childcare industry certification. Working with preschool kids is considered the lab portion of their classwork and provides students with valuable hands-on experience in early childhood education.
“We also learn how to collect data,” said Veronica Salazar, a senior at Prairie. “Even things about what a student does or doesn’t like. But we can use that to make sure they’re learning things at the rate they should be.”
Bergyn Tumlinson graduated from Prairie in 2018 and is now in her first year of employment with the Prairie Preschool program, working as a special education assistant assigned to a student with special needs.
High school students in the class are assigned to activity stations where they help the preschoolers draw, sculpt kinetic sand, use building blocks, read books, or even run an imaginary coffee stand.
“A lot of the things we do are also educational,” Kellum said. “We might build kites, but they would also have a ‘K’ on them. So it’s not just art, they’re learning something at the same time.”
Christina Wood is the Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Battle Ground High School and will be setting up the Battle Ground Preschool program.
“The preschoolers get the benefit of some really personalized relationships and instruction,” she said, “and the high school students learn a lot through the experience and the curriculum as well. So it’s really just a wonderful program and we’re excited to bring it here.”
Families interested in learning more about the program at Battle Ground High School can attend an open house on Tuesday, June 14 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. The open house will be in room A6, and accessible from the northwest side of the school along Stadium Way.
Battle Ground Preschool will initially have space for up to 20 children, with classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30-11:00 a.m. The registration fee is $60 and tuition is $165 per month. Families who qualify for free and reduced meals can apply to pay a reduced monthly rate. Wood said that the hope is to eventually expand the program to include an afternoon session if interest is high enough.
Preschool students must have a current immunization record on file before attending. They must also be potty trained (no pull-ups). High school students will not accompany children into restrooms. Parents are responsible for dropping off and picking up their children from preschool.
Learn more about early childhood education available through Battle Ground Public Schools and our partners in Community Education by visiting the district website.