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School Board puts preschool program on hold

Posted 8/01/17 (Tue)

By Betsy Ryan
Farmer Staff Writer

At the beginning of the summer, the McKenzie County School Board put out a call for input from the parents of preschool-aged children.
“We knew that we had some preschool needs which weren’t being met in the community, but didn’t know what the interest level or needs were exactly,” said Steve Holen, McKenzie County superintendent.
In their call for input, the school board asked parents to call the district office and leave their names if they were interested in a district run preschool for the 2017-18 school year. At the July 24 school board meeting, Holen said that they had 36 names of parents who were willing to pay a fee comparable to current in-town prices, which is anywhere between $200 to $250 per month.
After discussing the number of children entering kindergarten who had come from a preschool program versus the number entering kindergarten with no formal preschool, the board noted that there were around 50 to 60 children last year who were not served by current local preschool options. When the board asked Watford City Elementary School kindergarten teacher Pamela Moen whether or not preschool before kindergarten makes a difference in the performance of a student, Moen responded with a resounding yes, preschool makes a difference.

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