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Preschool program earns prestigious five-star rating
The Rossford School District preschool program has been recognized as a Five Star program by the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Jobs and Family Services.
“This is really a major honor,” Superintendent Dan Creps said, congratulating the preschool staff for their hard work.
The coveted rating is based on the Step Up to Quality system, which ranks public and private early childhood programs on scale of one to five.
Rossford’s public preschool program, housed at Glenwood Elementary School, earned the highest possible five-star rating.
“I’m really proud of our staff because the Five Star rating is reflective of the everyday commitment they have in providing the best possible experiences for our preschool students,” Glenwood principal Megan Spangler said.
There are 12 children enrolled in each of the three preschool sections, attending half-days.
The preschool staff includes teachers Eileen Christoffers and Tracy Lowe, and paraprofessionals Mary Thieroff and Susan Bowman. Erin Perry, director of student services, oversees the program.
Mrs. Spangler explained that the staff is required to maintain educational credentials plus CPR training, and 20 additional hours of professional development related especially to preschool.
The process included providing “hundreds of pages of documentation” and an on-site visit with observations, document review and staff interviews.
The preschool had an unannounced visit from the Ohio Department of Education for Licensing on October 11, and then received notice October 26 that it was in full compliance.
Step Up to Quality evaluates learning and development, administrative and leadership practices, staff qualifications and professional development, and family and community partnerships.
Among the criteria of a Five Star program, it must have highly trained teachers, share assessment results and create goals for students, have an active parent volunteer group and use child assessment results to plan activities that support learning and develop children’s school readiness skills.
Mrs. Spangler noted that the modern preschool curriculum is very different from past years of mostly play time.
Now preschool teachers have early learning standards in which students are taught to compare shapes and sizes, demonstrate an understanding of time, identify the numerals 1 to 9, do simple addition and subtraction problems, recognize some upper and lowercase letters.
They also practice identifying characters and major events in a story, using rhyming words, seeking more than one solution to a problem, communicating past events and anticipating what comes next.
“The day is very structured,” Mrs. Spangler explained. “Most of the time is spent doing academics, and there are play-based centers and learning labs.”
In addition, the staff also is equipped to handle occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech pathology and IEP needs of students, she noted.
To maintain the Five Star rating, the district will need to continue submitting documentation annually and undergo a full site review every three years, Mrs. Spangler said.
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Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.
Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.
The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.
Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.
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