Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
The Perry Township Education Center serves as the administration building for the school district and is home to the alumni offices for Perry Meridian and Southport high schools, the Perry Township Education Foundation, the Perry Township/Southport Historical Society and the PTA Council. It also hosts various community meetings.
There is also something special about this building. For the past three years it has been transformed from a high school setting to a learning center for more than 250
3- and 4-year-old children.
We are so fortunate here at the center to have a gym that used to host basketball games. Now tricycles are peddled around the facility, with the riders following the “streets” outlined on the floor. Every day you can hear voices of children expressing their love of learning and excitement to come to school each day. There are are classrooms here with two additional preschool classrooms at Jeremiah Gray-Edison Elementary. The presence of youngsters in the administration building serves as a constant reminder why we get up in the morning, and brings us all back to the beginning of our careers when we were responsible for classrooms filled with young minds.
The day runs from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and is packed with activities and instructional lessons that establish a foundation for reading and mathematics skills. The morning is spent in what we call “work time.” The children also participate in a whole group circle time in which they learn how to work with others in a class setting. They also work independently, during which time the teacher works on specific preschool standards. The classroom assistant also works with children on a variety of pre-reading and math concepts.
All students have two physical education activities during the day. The afternoon session includes an art activity, story time, singing nursery rhymes and dancing.
We have seen the impact of what a quality structured preschool program can have on future learning. We’ve had great success showing that students arrive for their first year of school with important knowledge and skills that include knowing numbers, colors and shapes, recognizing letters and their sounds and knowing how to recognize and how to write their names.
It is vitally important to us that our youngest students have a positive school experience and that they develop a love for learning. Though we are here to teach, our school is also a warm and supportive place for children. Our teachers truly love the work that they do, and the students benefit from that every day.
Perry Township again finds an unusual way to use available space to the fullest extent possible.