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Six LCS preschool programs shine in state ratings

Several of the school system’s preschool programs were seeing stars this week as a number of its employees and staff were recognized during Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting.
Six schools’ programs received five stars from the Division of Child Development.
The honored elementaries were North Brook, Catawba Springs, G.E. Massey, Iron Station, Love Memorial and S. Ray Lowder.
“Prior to now, only one center in the county had a five star rating,” said Linda Spencer, Lincoln County Schools preschool coordinator. “Our centers received the highest score of any preschool program in the state of North Carolina.”
The rating system, called the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, measures quality in the classroom using 43 different components, such as health, safety and food services.
There are currently 13 preschool classrooms located at seven LCS elementary schools. The preschool program, which includes Title 1, exceptional children and More @ Four, serves 190 at-risk preschool children.
In the past few years, the schools have worked hard to receive state licensure and provide the best quality education to the young people of the county, said Spencer.
“There are children who really need this,” she said. “Those early years are such important years.”
The St. James Elementary preschool and More @ Four program at Love Memorial are currently in the process of obtaining their temporary licenses.
Plans for 2006-07 school year include starting a program at Battleground Elementary, whose children received services at G.E. Massey in the past, and possibly opening up slots at Union and Norris S. Childers, said Spencer.
“This is something a school system doesn’t have to do, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Jim Watson, superintendent of schools.
In other business during Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, the board:
· Received a report from about the success of the Junior Achievement from program Chairman Joe Lampron, who brings local business leaders into the classroom to teach students about free enterprise, business and economics.
The program is currently in third-grade classrooms at Rock Springs, St. James, Catawba Springs and Pumpkin Center elementaries.
· Recognized this year’s Governor’s School recipients: Alexis Baker and Kristin Beeker from West Lincoln High School, Joseph Morton from Lincolnton High School and Jonathan Sumner from North Lincoln High School.
· Approved this year’s summer school schedule and fees as well as the 2006-07 individual school fees requests.
· Approved a 3 percent increase in next year’s school lunch prices, from $1.65 to $1.75, due to increased serving costs in wheat and milk products.
by Mary Williams

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