Early Learning Center Study

Early Learning Center - Feasibility Study

Update (Dec 14, 2010): The Early Learning Center will remain open and continue to provide four-year-old kindergarten (4K) and early childhood programs. Programs will not be transferred to "home" schools.

As part of the Long Range Plan for the district, a committee was formed to study the feasibility of providing early learning programming (early childhood and 4-year-old kindergarten) at individual home schools, instead of at the Early Learning Center.

The 4-year-old kindergarten (4K) program provides a half-day program, four days per week for 4-year-old children living in the Sheboygan Area School District. Early childhood programs are also offered for 3 to 5 year old children with special needs. Bussing is available for all students. In the 2010-11 school year, over 700 students are enrolled in early learning programs, with approximately 600 attending the Early Learning Center (see third Friday enrollment data). In addition, Cleveland Elementary School, Lincoln-Erdman Elementary School, and Lake Country Academy provide 4K programming. Longfellow Elementary and Jefferson Elementary offer 4K programming in conjunction with Head Start. 4K classes are also offered at Head Start.

Board of Education Approves Committee Recommendation - December 14, 2010

The Building Usage Evaluation committee and district administration presented a recommendation to continue providing 4K and early childhood programming at the Early Learning Center to the Board of Education on Tuesday, December 14. The Board approved the recommendation.

The committee reported that 'the “home” school concept for the Early Childhood program is not feasible due to the shortage of classroom, therapy, and storage space at each site. In addition, the HeadStart program currently at Longfellow Elementary School and the Even Start Program at the Early Learning Center would have to be relocated or discontinued.'

'In addition to classroom, therapy, and storage space needed at each “home” school, staffing costs would be increased in order to accommodate children at individual schools. Each school’s IMC area would need to increase in order to provide an area for the additional 4K materials required for each site. The primary reason for the increase in the number of staff needed to deliver the early childhood programming is the inability to share teaching and therapy services between classrooms.'

Read the full recommendation presented to the Board of Education here.

Thank you to everyone who communicated their views so articulately. All communications were shared with the committee as part of their decision making process.

The Sheboygan Area School District will continue to be in tight economic times and will have to prioritize. The Early Learning Center will not be closed, however other options will have to implemented. Please send any recommendations to be considered to the Office of the Superintendent at superintendent@sheboygan.k12.wi.us