I am excited to share a little information about the early childhood programming available through the St. Peter School District.

The St. Peter Early Childhood Center is housed in the north wing of the St. Peter Middle School building, located at 100 Lincoln Drive (Broadway entrance). Plans for fall 2021 classes are underway, and we are putting together a virtual open house that will be available to families at the beginning of March.

Early Childhood Family Education

The ECFE program offers eight classes for children ages birth to pre-kindergarten and their families. Classes are held once per week for 1-1.5 hours per class and are held both during the day and evening to meet the schedules of busy families. In the separating classes, parents attend the classes with their child, spend the first half of the session interacting and playing with their child, then break off for parenting time with a licensed parent educator. Some outdoor and virtual classes may be offered this fall as well.

School Readiness

School Readiness includes pre-school classes for children ages three to kindergarten entrance and are held two, three or four days per week depending upon the age of the student. Classroom instruction is based on the state identified Early Childhood Indicators of Progress and the program has been awarded a 4-Star Parent Aware rating through the Minnesota Department of Education. The focus of School Readiness is to have every child “Ready for Kindergarten” in the areas of social/emotional, word skills, number skills and motor development.

K Ready

K Ready is held five mornings per week and designed as an offering for students who are age-eligible for kindergarten but not attending. Parents elect to enroll their child in the K Ready class. Most often these students have summer birthdays and may benefit from an additional year of pre-school prior to attending kindergarten. The focus of the class is to provide more academic rigor than a three or four day per week pre-school and also allow time and experiences for social skill development.

Early Childhood Special Education Birth-2

The ECSE B-2 program offers in-home intervention for children and families. Children qualifying for the program have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). Services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy are also available to students who qualify.The program is focused on routines based intervention in the child’s natural environment. The ECSE Infant team also provides outreach and evaluation for all children ages birth to three for a seamless transition from home to early childhood programming.

Early Childhood Special Education 3-5

The ECSE 3-5 program offers four day per week, 2.5 hours per day programming for children ages 3-6 who have an Individual Education Plan. Services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and adaptive physical education are available to students who qualify. A goal of the ECSE team is to promote inclusion to the fullest extent possible. The ECSE team also provides outreach and evaluation for all children ages three to kindergarten for a seamless transition from home to early childhood programming and from ECSE to Kindergarten.

If you would like more information about early childhood offerings in Saint Peter, please call the Saint Peter Early Childhood Center at 507 934-4211 ext. 1010 or email yprafke@stpeterschools.org.

Ytive Prafke is St. Peter Schools early childhood administrator. Reach her at 507-934-3048 or yprafke@stpeterschools.org.

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