Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Quality Preschool, Tuition-Free!!!

Superintendent News & Views

Quality Preschool, Tuition-Free!!!
By David Hill, North Tama Superintendent
We’re pleased to announce that tuition-free preschool for 4-year old students is coming to North Tama in the fall. Starting in the fall of 2017, qualified four-year-old students will be able to attend preschool tuition-free through the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program
This program will allow all 4-year old students regardless of family income to attend preschool at North Tama Schools tuition-free.  Eligible students must be four years old on or before September 15, 2017.
The new preschool program is the result of a collaboration between the North Tama school district and Traer’s Pied Piper Preschool & Child Care Center. Pied Piper will be discontinuing their 4-year-old preschool program, and preschool classes for 4-year-old students will be held at North Tama Elementary instead. Students enrolled at Pied Piper for daycare will be provided with safe, reliable transportation in between the elementary building and Pied Piper.  3-year-old preschool classes will continue to be offered by Pied Piper. 
The new 4-year-old preschool program will provide a state-certified teacher trained in early childhood education and highly-qualified support staff, and offer the state-required minimum of 10 hours of quality preschool instruction per week.  The program will use the Creative Curriculum, a research and evidence-based comprehensive curriculum. The Creative Curriculum addresses all areas of early learning: language and literacy, math, science, physical skills and social skills. It provides children an opportunity to learn in a variety of ways – through play, problem-solving, movement, art, music, drawing and writing, listening and storytelling.
We are so pleased to welcome our new preschool teacher, Jill Miller. Jill comes to us from the South Tama district, where she has several years of experience teaching in a similar preschool program. We feel that we have found the perfect teacher to get this new program off the ground, and we look forward to seeing the program grow and our students being well served for many years into the future.
This program has been a long time in the making. While many people have been involved in the process, I want to personally thank our elementary principal Josh Youel for his leadership. It is because of Mr. Youel’s tireless efforts that tuition-free preschool will become a reality at North Tama. Every component of the program planning has been led by Mr. Youel. This has included the process of applying for state permission to establish the program, holding numerous meetings (preschool advisory committee, Pied Piper staff, Pied Piper preschool board, parent meetings, etc.), writing grants to secure funds for the program, hiring the staff, acquiring the necessary materials and supplies, updating the facilities to meet preschool standards, and much more. THANK YOU, Mr. Youel, for making this happen!  I also want to thank the North Tama School Board for their support of our vision to bring high-quality, tuition-free preschool to North Tama. 
This program is also open to 4-year-olds that live in other school districts. If you know of a young person in the area who will be four years old on or before September 15, 2017, please let their family know about this opportunity. Please direct any questions to principal Josh Youel at (319) 478-2265.
This newspaper column, along with my online blog and my Twitter feed, are part of my strategy for accessibility and communication as a shared superintendent. I invite your thoughts and your feedback in the comments section on my blog, which can be found at In addition to an opportunity to comment, the blog provides an opportunity to look back at the other columns I have submitted to the Star Clipper, plus occasional items that are not submitted to the papers. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (my handle is @DavidRobertHill) for blog updates, pictures, and comments on school-related events and activities.