EARLY LEARNING

EARLY LEARNING

The Franklin Special School District has several programs that fall into the Early Learning division. Please visit the tabs below to read about our early childhood education programs. 
Pre-Kindergarten

The  Franklin Special School District’s pre-kindergarten program provides a high quality educational program through an active learning approach.  Young children learn skills at their own level in ways meaningful to them.  Pre-K helps children prepare for kindergarten socially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Experienced, knowledgeable, understanding teachers and staff guide them through music, stories, songs, and play. All of these fun activities help children develop academic and social skills as they play. Each class has a full-time state licensed teacher and an educational assistant. 

 

  • Pre-K 2017-2018 Application Information:  Contact the Student Support Services Office at (615) 591-2802, or any FSSD elementary school, and ask to be placed on the list to receive application materials. Applications will be mailed to families requesting information no later than March 10, 2017.
  • Frequently Asked Questions:  Questions about Pre-K in Tennessee? Find answers to the most common questions below from the Tennessee Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning. 

Classes and Schools
Children attend pre-kindergarten Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 2:00. Two classes are at Liberty Elementary School, one class is at Johnson Elementary School, one class is at Moore Elementary School, one class is at Poplar Grove Elementary School and two classes are held at Franklin Elementary School.

Eligibility
To qualify for the pre-kindergarten program, a child must be 4 years old on or before August 15, live in the Franklin Special School District, and be considered at-risk.

The Tennessee Department of Education Office of Early Learning requires that school districts first serve students who are economically disadvantaged. Then students may be served who have disabilities, are identified as English Language Learners, are in state custody, or are identified as educationally at-risk for failure due to circumstances of abuse or neglect. In the event that there are still pre-K slots available, they may be filled according to the criteria determined by the FSSD Pre-K Advisory Council.

Standards
The Revised TN Early Learning Developmental Standards for 4 year-olds were written to support teachers, care givers and families who want to provide high quality, developmentally appropriate early learning experiences for children before they begin kindergarten. These standards align directly with the Kindergarten Common Core standards adopted by TN Department of Education in 2011. Helping children develop the concepts documented in these standards will provide them with the foundational skills necessary to their continued growth in kindergarten and beyond.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION:
Research shows that when 3- and 4-year-olds are engaged in quality preschool programs, they are better prepared for later learning. They have better oral language and reading readiness skills, have fewer referrals for remedial classes or special education, and are less likely to repeat classes
 
 
  

Student Support Services
Lee Kirkpatrick, Supervisor
Deb Naber, Secretary
FSSD Central Office Annex
1406 Cannon St.
Franklin, TN 37064
615-591-2802
615-591-4327 (fax)

Special Education Preschool

The FSSD Special Education Preschool program serves the needs of three- to five-year-old children who have developmental delays. The service delivery model is a school-based program and includes positive peer role models in each Special Education Preschool class. Eligible students must be 4 years old by August 1 and reside in or have a parent employed in the Franklin Special School District. The school day is 6 hours per day – generally 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM – Monday through Friday beginning the first day of school – the specific date to be finalized by the FSSD School Board in February.

The inclusion model provides a wide range of learning opportunities and the least restrictive environment that is both stimulating and challenging for both groups of children. The program also promotes belonging, friendships, understanding and acceptance of others who are different. 

Acceptance into the Program (Peer Role Models)

Some enrollment applications for typically developing positive peer role models are also accepted. This setting provides typically developing children an opportunity to interact with same age children who are receiving specialized instruction in a language-rich, developmentally appropriate environment. The peer role models demonstrate appropriate communication and behavior skills and help students with disabilities grow in both character development and socialization through cooperative play. All students applying for the class must be interviewed by the FSSD Preschool staff.  Acceptance is determined by the preschool team.

Peer model students serve an educational role within the classroom. Teachers have specific expectations for each typically developing positive peer model.

The positive peer model student should:

      • Exhibit age appropriate developmental skills based on teacher assessment
      • Use the bathroom independently – completely toilet trained
      • Participate in an activity when invited by a peer or an adult
      • Interact verbally with peers in play situations
      • Follow simple directions and some multiple step directions
      • Respond to simple questions
      • Work and attend in small group settings for at least 10 minutes
      • Share toys and plays cooperatively with peers
      • Take turns with minimal assistance
      • Use toys and classroom materials appropriately
      • Listen attentively to a story
      • Make age appropriate comments or asks age appropriate questions about a story
      • Separate easily from parent and demonstrates easy entrance into new settings and subsequent transitions
      • Help with simple tasks when asked (i.e. cleaning up)
      • Follow safety rules when reminded
      • Eat and drink independently
      • Remove small articles of clothing
      • Dress self – except shoes
      • Demonstrate the ability to pick up small toys

Please complete the application and bring or mail to FSSD Central Office – Attention: Beth Farrar. When a child is selected as a potential positive peer role model, the preschool teacher will contact parents to set up a time to interview the child.  Applications will be processed on a first come – first served basis. 

 

Transportation & Meals

Transportation is the sole responsibility of the parent. No transportation will be provided by Franklin Special School District for typically developing peer role models. All meals will be provided by the parent or purchased through the school.

Daily Communications 

It is necessary for parents to provide staff with information which may affect the child’s behavior on any given day. Additionally, it is essential for parents to share with the teacher any activities and items of special interest to the child.

Parent Activities/Meetings 

Parents of the peer model students are required to attend any required parent meetings as requested by the teacher.

Health Issues 

A child may not attend school if he/she is running a temperature of 100 degrees or more and cannot return to school until he/she has been fever free for 24 hours. It is important that parents provide the school with an emergency contact person who will be able to pick up the child if parents cannot be reached.

Calling to report non-attendance 

If a child will not be attending school for any reason, parents must notify the child’s school. The school will need to know the reason for non-attendance since schools are required to report certain communicable diseases. All schools have a voice mail system in place in order to leave attendance messages outside of the regular school hours.

 

 

Special Populations
Beth Farrar, Supervisor
Joy Crunk, Secretary
507 New Hwy 96 West
Franklin, TN  37064
615-794-6624

WeeMAC

IMG_6262Franklin Special School District’s childcare center, WeeMAC, is open year-round for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, offering them a nurturing and caring environment in which they can grow and learn. It is licensed by the Tennessee Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning. It was created to care for the children of employees and their families, but also accepts families who do not have relatives working in the district. Tuition is comparable to other childcare facilities in the area and the program is self-sustaining.

Philosophy:  WeeMAC believes that children flourish in a caring, nurturing, yet stimulating environment where they are encouraged to explore using developmentally appropriate toys and learning tools. We believe that play is the work of the child. Through exploration and play, children reach developmental milestones as they are guided by childcare professionals who use an integrated approach to helping the child learn and grow.
What does developmentally appropriate practice mean? It means that there is no one “formula” that will work for all children. The teachers, therefore, adapt materials, experiences, and strategies to meet children’s individual needs. It also means that the setting allows play to be the major activity. Developmentally appropriate practice is based on the assumptions that children will need to communicate effectively, work well with others, problem solve, gather and interpret information in increasingly complex ways, and easily adapt to new situations when they are adults. It also allows children to learn to express their feelings, understand the feelings of others, and develop a strong sense of self, which creates a foundation for later relationships.
 
IMG_0908Our Staff:  We look for teachers and caregivers that love young children and understand how to work with them. We look for people who have had experience in the early childhood field and who are still eager to learn and develop themselves. They should understand what is developmentally appropriate for children and should be able to respond to the emotional needs of the children in their care. They should be people who work well under stress and are physically able to perform the tasks required. All of our staff attend professional learning classes throughout the school year to learn what’s new in the field and to refresh their knowledge.
 
Location and Hours:  Wee MAC is located at the FSSD Central Office Annex, 1406 Cannon Street. The hours are 6:45 – 5:00 Monday through Friday, and the program is open year-round to accommodate the working schedules of school district employees. “We understand how hard it is to find quality, affordable childcare and want our employees to feel a sense of comfort knowing their children are receiving the very best care possible,” said Director of Schools Dr. David Snowden.
 
 
WeeMAC offers appropriate rooms for each stage of a child’s development:

Infants (6 weeks to 12 months):  A peek into the infant room will find babies lovingly cared for by trained, professional staff.  The infants are allowed to follow their own pre-determined schedules.  They are fed, changed and sleep when they need it. As they grow older, many of them no longer require as many naps and their sleeping habits follow a more routine schedule. The babies are read to, exercised, encouraged and taught how to play with the toys in the classroom. Teachers and caregivers talk to the infants throughout their day to help them with language development. 


IMG_0926Wobblers (12 months to 24 months)
: In this class are children who have begun to walk and run confidently.  They may range in age from 12-15 months to 2 years.  They have begun to express themselves with words and sounds that have meaning to them and to their caregivers.  They love to climb and run and pull and push and are generally excited about life.  During the course of their day there is music, indoor and outdoor gross motor play, reading books, and lots of movement and activity.  Also emphasized in this age range are good hygiene practices, such as hand washing, as well as managing their own behavior while developing a sense of independence. They’re a busy bunch!

 

 

 

IMG_0948

Toddlers (2-3 years):  Our toddlers are a curious bunch, always investigating and drawing conclusions about what they see.  Their language development is amazing as they learn new words and concepts rapidly.  This is the age where potty training begins seriously.  Some have started training when they enter the toddler class but all will be trained before they move on to the next classroom. As with all classes, routines are important to children this age and they consistently gather for stories, and focus on activities that will reinforce cognition in fun and interesting ways.  They get lots of time out-of-doors. Since this is the “me” “mine” age, they are learning to share and be kind as well as how to express their own needs and desires appropriately. 


Pre-Kindergarten (3-5 years)
:  The emphasis in the pre-k class is preparation for kindergarten. In this multi-age classroom, some children will leave at the end of the year to go to kindergarten, while the younger children will remain with us until they too reach kindergarten age. The curriculum is differentiated for each child’s developmental level. When concepts are introduced to the class, the older children extend their abilities through teacher directed activities while the younger children learn foundational skills.  Children are given many opportunities for exploration and experimentation.  They build language skills by talking with teachers and classmates and by listening to stories read to them in both group and one-on-one settings.  They experiment with writing and learn to recognize letters and their sounds and numbers.  They are surrounded by interesting centers where they learn how things work and how to build and construct on their own. 

Children in this class learn self-control and coping skills which ultimately helps to build their self-esteem.  The children in our pre-k class do lots of cooking, painting, crafts and other forms of artistic expression.  They dance, sing, and express themselves through dramatic play. Teacher-directed activities encourage children to achieve developmental goals.

 

WeeMAC
Melissa Whitehair
, WeeMAC Manager
Amanda Parks, MAC Supervisor
1406 Cannon St.
Franklin, TN  37064
615-591-2559 WeeMAC Office
615-790-4719 MAC District Office

Upcoming Events

Aug
5
Sat
11:00 am Big Backpack Giveaway @ Liberty Elementary School
Big Backpack Giveaway @ Liberty Elementary School
Aug 5 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
On Aug. 5, GraceWorks, in collaboration with other groups and agencies, will distribute backpacks filled with school supplies at the 2017 Big Backpack Giveaway to help students in need.The Big Backpack Giveaway will be from[...]
Aug
8
Tue
3:30 pm Family Meet and Greet @ All Schools
Family Meet and Greet @ All Schools
Aug 8 @ 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Families of students in grades K-8 are invited to a Meet and Greet event at the individual schools. This drop-in style event provides parents with an opportunity to receive student class assignments/schedules, turn in missing forms or[...]