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Kalamazoo Public Schools’ Preschool Program Sets the Bar for Early Childhood Education


Start School off on the Right Foot with KPS’s PEEP Program

When our oldest turned four years old, we started touring preschools. My mind was full of questions: Will she be happy here? Will she make friends? Will she be okay being away from home?

After visiting a few of them, we asked for her vote and she picked the one that had the donut table for their orientation tour. It wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for their program quality, but I couldn’t blame her (or her tastebuds).

As we pondered the donut and donut-less programs, I knew for certain that preschool was an essential step in starting her education. Kids who attend preschool have expanded vocabularies, stronger pre-literacy skills, and grow socially.

Preschool would also prepare her for full-day kindergarten the following year. I wanted her to not only thrive academically but also enjoy attending school.

We ultimately chose a preschool that was a fantastic fit for our daughter. However, I was surprised that our school district did not provide pre-K options in its public schools.

How KPS’s PEEP Preschool Program is Different

Kalamazoo Public Schools has made preschool a priority for its residents with its comprehensive Pre-kindergarten Early Education Program (PEEP), for KPS families.

PEEP is a State of Michigan Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), offering high-quality, free, or low-cost preschool to over 400 KPS students annually.

Students attend mornings, afternoons, or full-day preschool in 11 of KPS’s elementary schools with highly qualified teachers and a structured curriculum.

Is PEEP Really FREE ?

Yes. PEEP is a free preschool program for qualifying KPS families.

Families with income above 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level pay a small fee for PEEP services, as required by the state legislature.

For a family of four, 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level is a yearly income of approximately $64,000. Tuition fees are charged through Kalamazoo RESA.

Kalamazoo Public Schools
Winchell Elementary School is one of 11 elementary schools offering the PEEP program

Four Reasons Why KPS Kids Thrive in PEEP

Kalamazoo Public Schools recognizes the value of early education in children and therefore offers a high-quality preschool program for its residents. Read on for why kids succeed in PEEP:

Preschoolers Maximize One-on-One Time With Small Class Sizes

KPS knows that a low class size is ideal for little learners, allowing more time with their teachers.

As a State of Michigan Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), PEEP meets the highest standard for the very lowest class size with only 18 children in a class.

Classrooms with 18 students have a teacher, associate teacher (paraprofessional), and tutor. PEEP’s adult-to-child ratio is 1 adult for every 6 children.This provides for individualized attention and teaching.

PEEP Offers a Strong, Structured Curriculum

KPS fosters learning with an organized, engaging curriculum for its PEEP preschoolers. This strong foundation for school readiness uses the HighScope Preschool Curriculum.

This curriculum focuses on eight content areas, which are based on areas identified by the National Education Goals Panel.

KPS Preschool Curriculum’s Focus Areas

• Approaches to learning
• Social and emotional development
• Physical development and health
• Language, literacy, and communication
• Mathematics
• Creative arts
• Science and technology
• Social studies

PEEP Teachers Have Advanced Education + Training

PEEP staff are well prepared to teach and skilled in early childhood education.

Teachers must have a four-year degree and teaching certificate with an early childhood education or child development endorsement or specialization. Associate teachers must have a Child Development Associate’s (CDA) or the equivalent.

KPS Provides Flexible Schedules + Bus Transportation

PEEP’s preschoolers receive instruction five days a week with multiple scheduling options to meet different families’ needs. Families can select mornings, afternoons, or all- day instruction.

KPS also provides bus transportation from home or child care (located in the district) to school and back.

All preschoolers sit in the buses’ front rows for safety and comfort

PEEP Enrollment Requirements

PEEP is available for children that turn four by December 1. This program currently serves almost 400 children across 11 elementary schools in KPS.

Enrollment Paperwork

Three Ways to Apply

Tours + Additional Information

If you have questions or would like to schedule a tour of a PEEP classroom, please call the PEEP office (269) 337-0095.

More to Explore

1220 Howard Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

This content was originally published here.

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