Geneva school district to start own preschool

Posted2/14/2017 5:30 AM

The Friendship Station preschool joint venture of the Geneva school and park districts is coming to an end after 24 years.

The Geneva Community Unit School District 304 board decided Monday that the district should have its own preschool, which will include both general- and special-education students.


It will be located at Fabyan Elementary School, OS350 Grengs Lane.

All students would attend five days a week. Currently, 3-year-olds at Friendship Station attend two days a week, 4-year-olds three days a week, and 4- and 5-year-olds in an "instructional" program attend five days a week.

Since 1993, the park and school districts offered Friendship Station preschool. It is currently housed at Western Avenue Elementary School and Geneva Middle School South. General students pay tuition, and special-education students pay only a registration fee. The park district hired the general teachers, picked the curriculum and handled registration and billing. The school district and the Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative supplied the special-education staff, including social workers.

The school district will hire certified teachers for its preschool and use a different curriculum that it says will align the district with the state's Early Learning Standards.

The school district would have room for up to 60 general-education students and anticipates enrolling 35 special-education students.

The park district will continue operating a preschool in the facility at Geneva Middle School South, 1415 Viking Drive, for general-education students.

The school district estimates it would cost $830,618 to run its own preschool, about $44,000 more than it pays now. But it expects to then receive $140,400 in tuition to offset the cost.

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