Church could house Alder preschool

Rumors that Plain City Elementary will not have preschool space next school year are unfounded, say Jonathan Alder officials.

School administrators are working closely with a local church to make sure the district has ample space for the program should enrollment continue to climb, said Superintendent Doug Carpenter at the June 9 Jonathan Alder school board meeting.

Carpenter said the Plain City Elementary building has five first-grade classrooms and might have to go to a sixth first-grade classroom for the 2008-09 school year.

According to the Jonathan Alder Education Association contract, class sizes in kindergarten and first grade are limited to a maximum of 25 pupils per classroom. This number is below the state maximum of 29. Currently, Plain City’s kindergarten and first-grade classrooms are below 25, Carpenter said. 

To continue the district’s goal to provide “high tech and high touch’’ education for students, administrators would like to keep class sizes, especially in the early learning years, as small as possible to offer ample one-on-one education.

Carpenter said current enrollment in the first-grade level at Plain City shows there is still room for at least three more students before another first-grade classroom will be needed.

Carpenter added that if enrollment maxes out prior to the start of next school year, the pre-school room will become a first-grade classroom.

Principal Kelly Hicks said she is working with Crusade Bible Church, located behind the elementary building, to house the pre-school program if more space is needed. Hicks said the pre-school teachers are aware that they may have to move.

“They are already packed and ready to move if necessary,’’ she said.

In other business, the board approved a 3 percent pay raise for all employees of the school district as outlined in a five-year contract negotiated between the board and district employees.

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