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New program could fill pre-school need

POSTED October 30, 2012 10:10 p.m.

Over 150 Turlock children are waiting for a spot in either Head Start or State Preschool.  In an effort to fill this early education gap, the Turlock Unified School District is considering implementing the Set For Success Program.

If enacted, the program will provide literacy and language outreach for students ages 3-6. SFSP would be implemented immediately and monitored by the current coordinator of Early Childhood Education for TUSD and a new community liaison.

“Currently we have 119 children from Head Start waitlist and 40 children waiting to get to preschool,” said Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Lacrisha Ferriera.  “SFSP will build a strong foundation for school readiness and school success for Turlock’s prekindergarten to kindergarten families who are not receiving any services and are not enrolled in any program.”

The cost of the program would be approximately $75,000 annually using Economic Impact Aid categorical funds that includes 20 percent of the coordinator’s salary, and an 8-hour community liaison, materials, supplies, and professional development, said Ferriera.

Ferriera presented the proposed program before the TUSD board earlier this month,  and trustees were supportive of SFSP, but wanted more information on long-term costs.

“Board members want an estimated operational budget to run the program at TUSD elementary sites, said Ferriera.  “They want to know what will be expected for SFSP.  I will be providing the answers to all their questions during the next board meeting.”

The program will be discussed in further detail at the next school board meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Professional Development Center, 1100 Cahill Ave.

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