The administration of New England School would like to respond to the article about our preschool in Tuesday’s issue of The Dickinson Press. Outside of the proper context, a couple of the statements could possibly mislead our patrons.
First of all, New England Public School did not combine the fifth and sixth grades in order to make room for preschool. Midyear, it became fiscally apparent that budget cuts would have to be made. Although the budget cuts were district wide, one of the decisions made by the board was to combine two elementary classes in order to meet the budget needs.
The matter of pursuing the possibility of establishing a preschool sponsored by the public school was first addressed at the November meeting of the New England Public School Board. At that time, three possible settings outside school grounds were considered. Once the decision was made in May to combine the fifth and sixth grade classrooms, a room became vacant. At that point, the School Board felt that offering preschool in the public school setting would be a positive venture.
No additional staff has been hired by the district for our preschool. Last year, Mrs. Kuske was the elementary counselor and elementary physical education teacher. She was reassigned to preschool in lieu of her elementary PE assignment.
In years past, Mrs. Madler has been a special education paraprofessional who has primarily worked with students ages 3 to 12. She was reassigned to serve as the preschool paraprofessional.
Mrs. Stoltz has also been a paraprofessional for the district. While she was hired to work as a special education paraprofessional in the afternoons and to run the after-school program, she will only be assisting in the preschool until they get established.
Monday was a superb start to the new school year! It was incredibly exciting to see all the students, not just the preschool ones, begin another year of academic adventure.
We would like to thank The Dickinson Press for its coverage of our new preschool. It’s wonderful to read about positive events in southwest North Dakota.
— Kelly Rasch, Lawrence F. Lechler and Lori Fitterer,
New England Public School administration