St. Mary's to offer pre-school classes

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

St. Mary's school has announced it is having open enrollment for preschool children. The children must be 4 years old by the time school starts on Aug. 17.

Angela Hedges, who has been the kindergarten teacher at St. Mary's for the past seven years said she's excited about the new opportunities to teach.

Hedges is certified in Early Childhood Education and has been a teacher for nine years.

Angela Hedges prepares her classroom for the August 17 opening of the merged preschool and Kindergarten class offered for the first time this year at St. Mary's School.

In her classroom she has always stressed that her students should "feel safe, loved and learn a little each day." The preschool students will share a classroom with the kindergartners. Mixed classes are the norm at St. Mary's.

Hedges said she is convinced having two classes in one room helps both the younger and older students learn more.

She also said, "I think having all ages in one building fosters a sense of family." "We have five preschoolers enrolled already and can accept up to 15," Hedges explained.

There are fewer than five kindergarten students currently enrolled.

Hedges added, "I teach an open-end curriculum and although the 4-year-olds will basically be learning the same things, I will not place the same expectations of achievement on them as on the kindergarten students." She added that giving her students a positive experience in learning was her teaching goal.

School hours will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There is also an after school "After Care" supervised program that allows the students to remain at St. Mary's till 6 p.m., if necessary.

St. Mary's school is open to children of all faiths through the fifth grade. Parental involvement with classroom activities is strongly encouraged.

For more information, call the school's office at (417) 667-7517.

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