During the spring, parents typically begin to have questions about next school year’s preschool placements. The following is an explanation of how Olentangy Local Schools conducts its annual preschool placement process.
Preschool classroom space is identified in late spring for the following school year. Each spring, the District determines space required for its programs serving elementary students (i.e. specialized learning centers, reading specialists, etc.), elementary classroom space needs as well as preschool program space required. Considering those three components, space is assigned accordingly to elementary and preschool programs.
Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, the preschool will have additional space for the program. We will house approximately 12 preschool classrooms at Shanahan Middle School building in the area that is currently occupied by the Olentangy's administrative office.
The administrative team is being relocating to another building in May and their current space at 814 Shanahan Road will be renovated for preschool students. A playground will be built and the building will offer two large indoor motor skill spaces. The new space is separate from the middle school - preschool and middle school students will not be sharing space.
In the 2017-18 school year, the District will require approximately 36 classrooms for preschool programs. Approximately one-third of the District's preschool program will be housed at the Shanahan Road facility.
Also this spring, the District will determine staff assignments for its 36 classrooms. These assignments may change from time to time as space availability in the District shifts year-to-year and from building to building. The District will assign teachers to the spaces that make the best use of all its resources.
After staff is assigned, the preschool staff will collaborate with the District's transportation department to determine where students with special needs will be routed. Preschool supervisors will then place students with special needs onto specific class lists. Once all of the students with special needs are placed, peer models are then assigned.
Children with special needs are assigned to the building with the program the child needs and where the district can provide transportation. Because the district is required to provide free appropriate public education for all preschool students with special needs, we must assign children with special needs to the building where the district can provide transportation.
Morning sessions are reserved for younger students with special needs. Many morning classes start with lower numbers, but grow throughout the school year as children turn three and join the classes. As children ages three to five are determined eligible and have special needs, they become the responsibility of the school district. Most times, children with special needs who are approaching four years of age, or are four or older, are placed in afternoon spaces. The youngest students are placed in the morning session whenever possible.
Placement of peer models is a much more flexible process because we can place peers on a wait list. Also, parents provide all peer transportation.
In most cases, we are able to place peers in one of the top three preferences requested by parents. Peer models are placed in the morning or afternoon per parent preferences and by availability. Peer models are not placed until after students with special needs are placed.
Many parents would prefer their child have the same teacher as the previous year. Many parents have already indicated their preferences on the priority registration form. If a parent did not indicate their preferences on their registration form and have a preference for a specific teacher or have a teacher that they believe is not a match with their child's needs, they may email the preschool secretary, Charlotte_davis@olsd.us or Sueellen_arnold@olsd.us.
The District makes every effort to consider requested preferences, but it is not always possible to honor every parent request.
This summer, an email will be sent to parents by July 21 with information regarding building placement, teacher assignment and building hours. Parents will be provided with the forms and paperwork required for the following school year. Additionally, parents and students will be invited to an Open House prior to the beginning of the school year. During the Open House, students and families will be provided the opportunity to tour the building, spend time in the classroom and meet the preschool teaching staff.