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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Fort Thomas Preschool Program Receives 5-STAR Rating

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Preschool Program Joins List of Highly Rated District Schools
Fort Thomas Independent Schools, Director of Exceptional Children, Sommer Rosa, stands outside of the district’s preschool classroom at Johnson Elementary in Fort Thomas. Rosa was hired in June of 2017 to lead the program.
Fort Thomas Independent School Preschool program, housed at Johnson Elementary, has been given a 5-star rating by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services, Division of Child Care and the Kentucky Department of Education.

Kentucky All STARS is Kentucky’s expanded five-star quality rating and improvement system serving all early care and education programs – including childcare centers, Head Start and public preschool – that receive public funding.

“No matter how the ranking system is structured, we expect Fort Thomas Independent Schools to be leaders throughout the state,” said Dr. Karen Cheser, Superintendent. “Our students deserve that and our teachers and staff do what’s necessary to ensure that status.”

The unified system is based on Kentucky’s Early Childhood Standards and research- based indicators of quality.

"This 5-star rating shows that we are committed to providing the best services for our students," said Sommer Rosa, Director of Special Education for Fort Thomas Independent Schools. "We want our excellent reputation to be known at all levels of education, including our early childhood programs."

Rosa said that the accreditation process took place over the course of about two months. The Kentucky Department of Education assigned a consultant to the district to develop a plan of action and schedule a site visit, which was conducted on December 7th.

"Our preschool classrooms were rated on Space and Furnishings, Language and Literacy, Staff to Student Interactions, Personal Care Routines, Learning Activities and Program Structure," said Rosa.

Under House Bill 234 the new rating system replaced STARS for KIDSNOW and aims to increase kindergarten readiness, publicly recognize each program’s strengths, create systems of support and provides parent/caregiver assurances of quality.

Programs are awarded points based on:
- Family and Community Engagement
- Classroom and Instructional Quality
- Staff Qualifications and Professional Development - Administrative and Leadership Practices

The Fort Thomas Independent School District preschool program is available to three and four year-old children who live in the district and meet eligibility requirements. The program is available at no cost to children who are 4 years old by August 1, 2017 and whose family meets certain income requirements.

The program is also available at no cost to three and four year-old children with developmental delays. To determine whether your child may have a developmental delay, a brief screening is conducted in the areas of cognition, communication, motor skills, self-help skills, and social skills. A delay in any of these areas may result in your child being eligible for preschool.

Preschool classes are held Monday through Thursday from 8:15-11:15 or 12:00- 3:00 and lunch is served during both sessions. There are no classes on Friday so that staff may plan, convene parent/teacher meetings, and conduct home visits, among other activities.

If you are interested in our preschool program and would like to have your child screened, please contact Sommer Rosa, Preschool Director, at 859.815.2009. The next screening date is Friday, January 5, 2018. Please call to schedule an appointment.

FTM file. 

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