2012-12-27 / Front Page

Board receives program update

‘Little Explorers’ preschool doing well in first year run

MANISTIQUE – Still in its infancy, the “Little Explorer Program” at Emerald Elementary is doing well, according to school officials. The program, which was up and running as a pilot January 2012, is a 4-year-old preschool with an after school day care option.

In a recent meeting of the Manistique Board of Education, Emerald Principal Erik Mason explained the program currently has 20 students enrolled, with one more expected to join in January. There are approximately 10 children taking advantage of the extended care following the school day, he added.

The program transitioned from a combined 3- and 4-year-old to a sole 4-yearold preschool in August. This, said Mason, allowed the caregivers to focus on the educational needs of the children.

“The kids are enjoying it; the parents love dropping their kids off and I get to see them every day,” he explained. “It’s just a wonderful program and kids are really excelling in it.”

Mason also noted he and the two lead caregivers, Carey Farley and Kim Burnis, will continue to make improvements to the program.

“I’ve been … working on developing a website for our Little Explorers,” he said. “As well as looking at, for next year, what we can do to enhance the program.”

In other business the board also approved the addition of May 24 as an instruction day. This day was added to make up for Oct. 26, the day the district took in order to allow parents and students to attend the district football tournament in Calumet.

“We had met, discussed various scenarios – possibly doing a half day – but do to the distance we were during that day and get everyone up there safely … it became a full day,” Superintendent Kathy McDonough said.

The Michigan Education Association agreed upon the date, she added. McDonough also explained she would continue to work with the MEA to come up with a make up date for Nov. 16, the day after “Deer Day”.

“The district did not make its mandatory 75 percent enrollment,” she said, adding this meant the district now needed a make up day.

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