East Grand board celebrates Granby Elementary preschool program at meeting | SkyHiNews.com

East Grand board celebrates Granby Elementary preschool program at meeting

The East Grand School District board held its regular meeting March 7 at Granby Elementary School. Rhonda Hill, the preschool director and special education teacher at Granby Elementary, gave a presentation to the board about the preschool program’s top rating.

Hill said the preschool program went through Colorado Shines, a rating program run by the Colorado Department for Early Childhood. The program rates preschools into five quality levels, with the fifth being the highest standard.

Colorado Shines examined the school’s workforce qualifications, family partnerships, administrative practices, learning development and child health as part of its review, and Granby Elementary’s preschool earned a level five rating.

Several new teachers on staff had to accelerate their training to meet the qualification requirement for level five, Hill said.

“They had to go through a class observation, they had to have coaching — several hours of intensive work for them to get qualified for us to reach a level five,” Hill said.

Parent participation in surveys informed the family partnerships criteria, and Granby Elementary had 87% of parents return their surveys. Colorado Shines examined the sick time and insurance options for teachers as evidence of support from the administration.

The program also visited Granby Elementary for a three-hour observation to examine the learning environment.

“They measured how many times — and marked down with a checkpoint — how many times teachers were talking about math, how many times they talked about diversity, how long kids wash their hands, how many times we read to them, how many times we referenced books,” Hill said.

Colorado Shine examined child health at the school by checking if it screened kids for dental, vision and hearing and had a referral process into the special education system, Hill said. She finished her presentation by thanking the teachers and staff who worked hard to earn the level five designation.

“Fives don’t get handed out easily,” Superintendent Brad Ray said. “So it’s quite an honor, and congratulations.”

Other business:

  • The board approved a consent agenda that included previous meeting minutes and several staffing changes.
  • Board members approved meeting dates for next school year.
  • Jenn Fanning, the executive director of the Grand County Rural Health Network, presented to the board about school-based health centers. The health network looks to do a needs assessment for school-based health centers in the county, and after board members expressed several concerns, the board decided it would vote on the issue at a later meeting.
  • Ray told the board that the district has narrowed down choices for a new student information system and would make a decision soon.
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