Canfield Local Schools will be joining forces with the Mahoning County Educational Service Center this fall to bring the first-ever preschool to the Canfield district. Through the partnership, the district will be housing a preschool classroom in both C.H. Campbell and Hilltop for the 2014-2015 school year.
Canfield Superintendent Alex Geordan said, ''Through collaboration and looking at the best way to service Canfield youngsters, we feel this is a very positive move for our community. The students will be attending preschool in the building where they will continue their primary education.''
In previous years, Geordan said the preschools were held in other locations outside the district. It was mainly for special needs students who ended up going to outside locations such as MCCTC or Austintown schools for classes.
''By bringing them back into the district, it keeps them local and opens the doors to regular students as well,'' Geordan said.
A big savings will be seen in transportation costs. Buses and vans will no longer have to leave the district to deliver special needs preschoolers to other county units.
The two units that will be housed in Canfield will be run by the MCESC. They will provide the teachers, but the big plus is the fact the can work with kindergarten and first grade teachers at the respective elementary buildings to make for a smooth transition into those grades.
''It is amazing what is expected from a first grader at such a young age,'' Geordan said. ''We have to start looking at educating at a younger age to better prepare them.''
He said the two new units will operate a morning and afternoon preschool at both buildings. Parents who wish to enroll their preschooler must contact the MCESC at 330-965-7828, ext. 1091 to get put on the list, since it is county ran.
Goerdan said Canfield students will be transported to and from school on a separate preschool only bus route. The preschool program will follow the Canfield School calendar and will be Monday through Thursday, where children will attend either a morning or afternoon session. The program will service both regular and special needs students.