isa just returned to preschool after the long winter break, so we thought we'd give a little mid-year progress report. as we've said before, the choices for preschool in this town are very, very limited so we were thrilled to get into a school that we liked and could afford. just so happens that this preschool is state funded, which here in the cowboy state is a really good thing (thank you Oil and Gas money?). from what we have observed and have been told, they have more funding than they know what to do with! how many times do you hear that about a publically funded school? right.
isa is in a very small class with about 7 other students, with two teachers, a grandmother, and various speech/physical/occupational therapists that rotate in and out of the classroom. since it's a "peers" program, students without delays are in the same class with students who receive specialized therapy. we really liked this model because it would expose isa to kids that she probably hasn't met outside of school and would make for a more well-rounded preschool experience. not to mention, that student to teacher ratio is crazy good, and even more so considering the level of specialization and education that the teachers have.
though they work on all the typical areas a regular preschool would (letter, numbers, imaginative play, etc.) this program has a strong focus on social skills. they work really hard on teaching the kids to interact, play, and solve conflicts as well as learning their alphabet and identifying shapes. for instance, every day at snack time (it's actually a really good meal, provided by the school) they sit together and eat and everyone remains seated until the last person is done eating. those of you who have shared a meal with isa know that this could be a big challenge for her-- and it was at first. but now she sits and waits with everyone and doesn't have to be reminded about the "ants in her pants" at all! yay! there are alot of other perks as well, like field trips! since the school has their own transportation, they take the kids to various places of interest around town. they also go to the library one morning a week for their own story and craft time with the children's librarian. isa especially loves this and so do we!
as for how much isa likes going to school-- no question there. she loves it and we think that she will most definitely be going back next year as a four year old. if you can't tell from the photo, her favorite thing about school is the ART. and she comes home with a backpack full every day to show for it!