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Planning commission approves new preschool
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A new private preschool will soon open in Turlock, as the city’s planning commission approved the school’s operation on Thursday evening.

Set to open at the Cornerstone Covenant Church on Crowell Road, the new Cornerstone Christian Preschool will serve Turlock families with children three to five years of age. The new school was approved for operation between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and is expected to initially draw in approximately 24 students.

While the operation of the new preschool will not require any additions to the existing building upon opening, owner Amanda Gonzales hopes to one day expand the building to serve more children in the area.

“I believe Cornerstone Christian Preschool has the potential to be the top facility in the Turlock area,” said Gonzales in her business plan for the new school. “Few facilities are successful at creating engaging and exciting atmospheres where children develop life skills as well as meeting state standards. I have gathered my observations and acquired various teaching techniques so that I may open and manage an engaging and loving facility.”

In an effort to avoid operating as a daycare center, teachers of Cornerstone Christian Preschool will be required to attend monthly trainings. Students will also undergo regular assessments through individualized education programs to make sure they are meeting educational goals.

In addition to opening the preschool, Gonzales hopes to one day open an after school program at the church for elementary students to attend, as well as an infant/toddler room for younger children.

The school is a private Christian school, and will maintain a biblical-based curriculum, setting its focus on a “Christ-centered” approach to teaching. Aside from numerous classrooms, the church has an outdoor play area for children to enjoy during school hours.

“I am excited to see how God will use this school and its employees to spread His word and His love to a limitless number of families,” said Gonzales. “I pray that He will expand this school according to His will; nothing less and nothing more.”

During the meeting, Gonzales said that the primary goal of the new school would be to ensure that young children are adequately prepared with school readiness skills before attending kindergarten or the public school system.

“We’ll be using already existing childhood development programs that keep track of the students’ progress from when they enter our school, to when they’re ready to leave for whatever educational plans their parents may have for them,” said Gonzales. “Our goal is just to make sure that kids are ready.”

The planning commission voted unanimously to approve the new preschool, saying that it would be a great addition to the community.

“I think that this is a great use of that facility,” said planning commission chair Mike Brem.

Gonzales, who attended the meeting to provide the commission with any questions they had regarding the new preschool, said that the school hopes to open by January 2014.