By Garland Wright
EDGMONT – Edgemont School District is thrilled to announce the eagerly anticipated preschool program launch for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year. Aptly named the “Mini-Mogul Program,” this initiative is set to provide preschool-age students with a remarkable educational foundation within the comfortable confines of the elementary school building.
In a strategic move aimed at enhancing convenience for parents with older children enrolled at Edgemont School, preschool sessions will now occur on campus, eliminating the need for multiple commutes. Unlike previous years when the local Edgemont Children’s Center ran preschool classes, this new arrangement ensures a seamless experience for families and students alike.
This transition was prompted by staffing constraints at the Edgemont Children’s Center, initiating collaborative efforts between the Edgemont Children’s Center Preschool Board and the Edgemont School Board. With the common goal of delivering exceptional early education, the decision was reached to bring the preschool program under the Edgemont School Building’s welcoming roof.
“The idea to start the preschool within Edgemont School came from a vision and goal session that the Edgemont School Board held last spring. The Board was aware of the difficulty Edgemont Children’s Center was having staffing the preschool and set a goal to develop a preschool if the Edgemont Children’s Center board was willing to allow that, and they were. Board members felt that having the preschool within Edgemont School would provide stability and consistency to preschool education in the area and give its students access to Edgemont School’s staff’s professional knowledge and expertise. Quality preschool education is so important and will ensure that the community’s children start kindergarten with a greater likelihood of being successful in school. I doubt that there is anyone in the community more excited than I am about this opportunity for our Little Moguls, and I hope the community and families will support the preschool for years to come,” explains Edgemont daycare owner and Edgemont Community Center Preschool board member of 17 years Susan Humiston.
Leading this exciting endeavor is the new preschool teacher, Miranda Nelson, a beloved figure affectionately referred to as Ms. Miranda by her young students. With a wealth of experience as a seasoned teacher’s aide and a strong background in working with children, Nelson is poised to nurture and guide the Mini-Moguls on their educational journey. Moreover, Nelson has an associate degree in early childhood education and once owned and operated the popular Discovery Zone Daycare in Hot Springs, further attesting to her childcare background.
“Children are the future of our community, and establishing a love for learning at an early age is a great foundation,” stated Miranda Nelson when discussing the importance of preschool learning.
Enrollment for the Pre-School Program has already begun for eager learners. The program’s schedule, from 7:50 AM to 12:00 PM every Monday through Thursday, harmoniously aligns with the established Edgemont School District calendar.
Families are currently responsible for covering the tuition fee for their aspiring learners and the cost of lunch. The annual enrollment cost is $2000, or a monthly payment of $200, irrespective of attendance frequency. Recognizing that this expense might be challenging for some families, those who qualify can apply for the Free and Reduced Lunch program, allowing the school to adjust costs accordingly.
Notably, Mini-Mogul students will join their primary school peers during lunchtime. A modest fee covers the lunches and morning snacks’ milk. Alternatively, families can opt for packed lunches. Preschool students’ lunches cost $3.20, while milk is available for 50 cents.
While preschool attendance remains optional legally, its benefits are abundant. Early learners stand to gain a solid foundational base for their holistic development and future achievements. Through interactions with peers, they cultivate essential social skills such as sharing, cooperation, and conflict resolution. Additionally, preschoolers acquire fundamental math and literacy skills, fostering a well-rounded skill set that readies them for future academic and social milestones.