Please take a moment to read through our Frequently Asked Questions below! Just click a question to expand the information and answers.
The emphasis on early learning and development is growing steadily in Oregon. Kindergarten assessment data has shown that 40% of our children arrive at kindergarten underprepared for academic success. In Redmond, we know we need to do something different to change the outcomes and success rates for all students in our district.
The Early Learning Center will provide an opportunity for children and their families to connect with early learning resources earlier in their academic career. We believe this effort is a critical step to improved outcomes for our children and families, and a better return on taxpayer investment for Oregon’s future.
The vision for the Early Learning Center is that it becomes a hub where children from birth through age six and their families can access the early learning and developmental opportunities and supports that enhance their ability to succeed.
We will house kindergarten from all in-town schools (John Tuck, M.A. Lynch, Sage, Vern Patrick and Tom McCall) on campus and expand the center to provide access to pre-kindergarten programs and resources in partnership with other agencies. Kindergarten students from Tumalo and Terrebonne schools will remain at their home school.
The center will provide equitable access for children and families by offering a “one stop shop,” that is centrally located within our community. The center could potentially include partners such as Head Start, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Public Health, Healthy Beginnings and many other agencies.
The district has selected Desiree Margo, D.Ed., previously principal of M.A. Lynch Elementary, to lead the planning efforts for our new center. Desiree has served in Redmond School District for 22 years and has been serving as principal at Lynch for the past five years. During her tenure at Lynch, she successfully developed an exemplary model of community partnership for student success. She has begun her work as planning principal in the 2015-16 school year. Desiree will be attending all Elementary PTC meetings in February to discuss and present information about the Redmond Early Learning Center.
We have created a webpage for the Redmond Early Learning Center online where you can sign up for e-newsletter updates, follow us on Instagram and contact us with your questions or concerns via our email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Principal Desiree Margo will be attending all Elementary PTC meetings in February to discuss and present information about the Redmond Early Learning Center. Please visit us online at http://redmond.k12.or.us/about/early-learning-center/ for more updates and to sign up for our Redmond Early Learning Center communications!
Our goal is always to create a balanced classroom environment. We know when we accomplish this, that all students can succeed. We also want to support a strong and positive transition for students to their 1st-5th boundary school. We will be intentional in the placement process to provide support for both goals.
Our talented team of Kindergarten teachers across the district will now become a larger, even more amazing team to support our students! Classroom placement decisions will be based on kindergarten assessments, teacher/parent input and learning needs for each student. Parents will have the opportunity to provide input to their child’s best learning environment.
For Bus Riders
(Arrival) – Students who ride a bus to school will get on the bus at their regular stop along with any older 1st-5th grade siblings. The bus will first stop at the 1st-5th boundary school to drop off siblings then Kindergarten students will be transported to the Early Learning Center. Students will get off the bus and enter the playground at the Northeast gate. Breakfast will occur in the classrooms at the start of the school day.
(Dismissal) – The bus will start at the Early Learning Center at the end of the day. Staff will walk students out to their designated bus. Kindergarten students will ride to their 1st-5th boundary school and older siblings will get on the bus. Students will arrive to their regular bus stop as usual and be met by parents and guardians.
(Arrival) – Families choosing to walk their Kindergarten student to the Early Learning Center will enter at either one of the two school playground gates (northeast or southeast). The gates will be staffed and all Kindergarten parents and guardians who want to enter the gates along with their child, will wear lanyards that clearly identify them as an approved contact for the child. Breakfast will occur in the classrooms at the start of the school day.
(Dismissal) – Families choosing to walk to school to pick up their Kindergarten student, will enter the school at one of the main entrances ( South-front or North-back ), and wait for the dismissal bell to ring. When the bell rings, parents and guardians will then walk to the child’s classroom wing to pick up their child. All Kindergarten parents and guardians will wear lanyards that clearly identify them as an approved contact for the child. Staff will only release students to adults who are on the approved contact list.
(Arrival) – Families choosing to drive their Kindergarten students to the center will enter at the South (front) entrance only. The north entrance is for buses. Students will enter through the playground gates at the Southeast gate. The gates will be staffed and all Kindergarten parents and guardians who want to enter the gates along with their child, will wear lanyards that clearly identify them as an approved contact for the child. Breakfast will occur in the classrooms at the start of the school day.
(Dismissal) – Families choosing to drive to school to pick up their Kindergarten student, will park on the south (front) side of the school and enter the school and wait for the dismissal bell to ring. When the bell rings, parents and guardians will then walk to the child’s classroom wing to pick up their child. All Kindergarten parents and guardians will wear lanyards that clearly identify them as an approved contact for the child. Staff will only release students to adults who are on the approved contact list.
We are working with Redmond Area Parks and Recreation District (RAPRD) on a partnership where they will provide fee-based after-school care for Kindergarten students (much like they currently do at many of our other in-town elementary schools).
We realize the need to support our parents and help make the end of the day as efficient as possible. We are working with school principals and on-site partners to develop a plan that first ensures your child’s safety and then supports the need for an efficient end of the day. We will keep our parents updated as this plan progresses.
The current Redmond School District Title I funded pre-kindergarten (currently located at Vern Patrick Elementary), will move to the Early Learning Center. This pre-kindergarten does have a limited enrollment capacity yet we are working with partners to consider how we can increase pre-kindergarten opportunities for our families at the Early Learning Center. This will be an ongoing area of development.
The district is dedicated to creating a seamless and positive transition for kindergarten students entering their boundary schools for first grade. We will be working with your student’s boundary school principals, first grade teachers, kindergarten teachers and parents during our first year to develop a process that supports all students. We will share information with parents when the opportunity for planning team input becomes available.
We are working with BLRB Architects to make improvements and modifications to the Hugh Hartman facility so it will be early-learning-ready. We are VERY excited about the concepts that BLRB Architects have created for the center! Work will include remodeling the main entrance and central hallway area, creating a Family and Community Room and a Welcome Center, lowering sinks in the bathrooms, adding cubbies to the classrooms, and developing a playground ideally suited for our kindergarten students to include adding additional fencing along W Antler and NW 15th St. We will share the architect’s drawings on this site as soon as they are approved.
Some work will begin once plans are approved. However, most of the facility remodel will occur during the summer months once the Redmond Proficiency Academy has ended their school year.
School safety is of utmost priority to Redmond School District. The district has a partnership with Redmond Police Department to provide School Resource Officers which support all of our district schools, including the Redmond ELC. In addition, the Redmond ELC will be specifically designed to increase security at the main entrance into the school and office area. We will share the new drawings of the early learning center online as soon as they are approved.
We are meeting with community partners to develop on-site resources and opportunities for our families and students.
Some supports and services will include the following:
- Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) – KSMART program. We are working toward having up to 100 adult volunteers reading with up to 200 students twice a week for 20 minutes.
- Healthy Beginnings – Healthy Beginnings will host their 12 point kid inspections at the center. They will also provide the “4 B4 5,” Kindergarten Readiness Assessment at the center as well.
- Family Access Network (FAN) – The FAN Foundation is working to place an Early Learning Advocate at the center!
- Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) – this is an awesome program that places senior citizen volunteers in our schools. Volunteers support academics and serve as mentors.
- Family Resource Center of Central Oregon – This organization supports families through parent education.
- Deschutes County Library – we are developing this partnership
- Redmond High School and RPA – We are excited to partner with our nearby high school students to provide student mentorship opportunities! We are still developing this partnership.
Kindergarten Round Up is the district’s annual major Kindergarten registration event. We will hold our annual Kindergarten Roundup in the spring as usual. We are still working on determining the location and date for this year. We will let our families know as soon as plans are confirmed.
We will release information this Spring on where families can go to register if they miss Kindergarten Round Up.
We are very excited to partner with SMART- Start Making a Reader Today. This is a literacy and mentoring program. Students are paired with an SMART volunteer twice a week for 20 minutes. Students increase their love of books reading alongside a caring adult. We are also excited about building a partnership with both Redmond High School and Redmond Proficiency Academy. Finally, the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is a wonderful mentoring model that pairs students with a caring adult who also provides academic support as needed.