Our mission is to educate all learners to reach their full potential as contributing and productive members of our ever-changing global community.

Circle of Friends Preschool

A 4-STAR PARENT AWARE RATED PROGRAM

Welcome! Circle of Friends Preschool was established in 1995 and is a part of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools. At Circle of Friends Preschool, we serve all learners in an inclusive, caring environment. Using a child-centered approach, teachers support all learners to feel safe, cared for, and encouraged. We offer both nature-based and more traditional classroom settings, with an E-STEM focus in all settings.

View the tabs below to learn more about Circle of Friends Preschool.

Enrollment Information

Parents may register their child for our tuition-based preschool.

Online registration opens to the public February 3, 2020 
We encourage new families to come to our Peek into Preschool event at Edgewood School from 4:30-6:00 pm or attend one of our informational Tour & Talk tours.  View the VISITS AND TOURS tab to see these upcoming preschool visitation opportunities.

Families with students currently attending Circle of Friends Preschool will have the opportunity for priority online registration from January 24-31.


2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR

Online registration will open to the public February 3, 2020.  Families with students currently attending Circle of Friends Preschool will have the opportunity for priority online registration from January 24-31.  As soon as details are finalized for the 2020-2021 school year, they will be posted.

2019-2020 School year

To have your child added to our waiting list for future class openings during the 2019-2020 school year, please complete our online registration process.  The system will ask you to enter payment information but you will not be charged any fees unless we are able to enroll your child.  Your application will remain in a "pending" status.  As class openings occur, we contact families from the waiting list to make sure the class still works for your schedule before finalizing enrollment.  The registration fee and monthly tuition will begin after enrollment is finalized.


How to Register for Circle of Friends Preschool

Prior Lake-Savage Area Community Education has an online registration system called Eleyo (formerly FeePay). You will need to create a new account in order to register for classes.  Online registration instructions are linked below.  Please read both pages of instructions.  The first page explains how to set up a family profile.  Once you have set up your family profile you will be able to register for classes. Once you have created your account, Eleyo will send you an email requesting you verify your email address. 

PLEASE NOTE: Even though you are registering your child for the preschool class you must first create an account for yourself, and then add profiles for your child(ren).  If you already have an account profile do not create a new one.  Go directly to registration.  Helpful tip:  Print the instructions below prior to clicking on the link within the document, so you can follow along as you proceed through the registration process.

FAQs

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS PRESCHOOL - FAQs

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  1. How do I register?  Click here: INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION
  2. How old does my child need to be to start preschool?  3 or 4 by Sept. 1st and toilet trained.
  3. Does my child need to be independent in the bathroom?  Yes, they need to be fully independent in the bathroom. While we understand accidents happen, we are not a facility licensed to change diapers or pull-ups.  If your child wets their pants, we can guide them to change their clothing.  If your child has a bowel movement, we will need to call you to come to school to change them.  View this link for tips.
  4. When will I learn of my child’s placement?  Families will be notified by mid-March if your completed online application is submitted by Februrary 9th.  After February 9th, students will be placed on waiting lists for all classes selected on their application.  As openings occur in selected classes, our office will contact you to finalize enrollment.
  5. Is financial assistance available?  Yes, but there is a limited amount of financial assistance available through MN Early Learning Scholarships to families who meet the criteria.
  6. Can I request to have or not have a certain teacher? Yes, we will do our best to honor it but we cannot guarantee it.

PLACEMENT PROCESS

In what order are placements made?
  • Current CoF families who register from January 24-31 will be placed first, as space is available.  If there are more applicants for a particular class than there is space, a lottery system will be used.
  • In district preschoolers will be placed before out of district preschoolers.
  • Age appropriate preschoolers will be placed before older students.  A kindergarten aged child will not be placed before a preschool aged child, with the exception of the Super 5s class in which kindergarten aged students will be placed first.
Other considerations that affect placement:
  • Class balance of gender, needs, requests or other factors that may affect a successful class make-up.  These considerations may alter placement order.

FULL-DAY VS. HALF DAY CLASSES

Choose full day if:

  • Your child has been in a home daycare or center.
  • You need the option of before and after care.
  • Your child is completely independent in the bathroom for a full-day school setting, manages their outdoor gear and separates well.

Choose half day if:

  • This is your child’s first experience away from you.
  • Your child is in a lot of activities.
  • Your child is still developing secure separation skills.

 Nature vs. traditional classes

 Traditional Program
Children will:

  • Develop a positive relationship with the natural world.
  • Develop a sense of wonder about the world around them.
  • Experience risks and rewards.
  • Build relationships with peers and secure adults.
  • Develop kindergarten readiness skills, both academic and social emotional.
  • Be outdoors for at least 30 minutes at a time, in most weather.

Nature Based Program
Children will:

  • Develop a positive relationship with the natural world.
  • Learn to appreciate all kinds of weather.
  •  Develop a sense of wonder about the world around them.
  • Expand their use of all senses collaboratively, including their sense of balance and movement.
  • Be outdoors for at least 2 hours at a time in all weather.
  • Experience risks and rewards.
  • Build relationships with peers and secure adults.
  • Develop kindergarten readiness skills, both academic and social emotional.

Choose Nature if:

  • You prefer a more intense environmental focus.
  • Your child adores extended outdoor play and exploration (or you would like them to develop this appreciation).
  • You can commit to providing appropriate outdoor gear or will ask for help obtaining it.
  • You value the benefits that a non-traditional setting offers including flexibility, spontaneity, and the outdoors.

Optional Preschool extension - Lunch Bunch Class
(for Half-Day Preschoolers at edgewood school)

This is an optional, fee based class is for half day preschool students at Edgewood School.  Stay after your morning preschool class section or come before your afternoon class for a home lunch, and then extended play and learning from 11:30-1:00.  

Visits & Tours

Opportunities to Visit 

Mark your calendar for the upcoming preschool visitation opportunities. 

Peek Into Preschool

January 13, 2020 from 4:30-6:00 at Edgewood School
You and your preschooler are invited to visit Circle of Friends Preschool classrooms during our Peek into Preschool events. You will have the opportunity to learn about all our program options and spend time with our licensed preschool teachers.  No need to register.

Tour and Talk

For an adult-only visit , join one of these Tour and Talk presentations at Edgewood School.  Adults will tour Edgewood School with our Early Learning Coordinator, discuss program options and view preschool classrooms.  No need to register.

  • December 4, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m.
  • December 16,2019 @ 12:00 p.m.
  • January 9, 2020 @ 3:00 p.m.
  • January 28, 2020 @ 3:00 p.m.
  • February 12, 2020 @ 5:00 p.m.
  • March 11, 2020 @ 5:00 p.m.
  • April 8, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m.
  • May 6, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m.

Program Options

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools is an E-STEM District
E-STEM stands for Environmental Education, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It’s an integrated approach to teaching and learning. It is exploration, discovery, risk-taking, wondering, and experimenting. It is a hands-on approach to learning, encompassing not only the letters above, but also literacy, art, creativity, music and social-emotional learning.

We utilize both indoor and outdoor settings to learn about the world around us in real, meaningful ways. Whether you choose a nature-based or more traditional classroom setting, this educational philosophy is integrated throughout all of our programming.

TRADITIONAL CLASSES

Students in traditional preschool classes spend the majority of each day in a classroom setting. Similar to Nature Based classes, traditional classes also follow the philosophy of E-STEM teaching and learning and will spend time learning outside each day. We offer half-day and full-day options.

In our traditional preschool classes, children will:

  • Develop a positive relationship with the natural world.
  • Develop a sense of wonder about the world around them.
  • Experience risks and rewards.
  • Build relationships with peers and secure adults.
  • Develop kindergarten readiness skills, both academic and social emotional.
  • Be outdoors for at least 30 minutes at a time, in most weather.

NATURE-BASED CLASSES

Students in nature-based preschool classes are in an outdoor immersive setting and will be outside every day unless the weather is dangerous. Nature-based classes achieve the same outcomes as a traditional Circle of Friends preschool class, only natural materials are the learning tool with the Great Outdoors for a classroom. Students spend minimal time inside each day and do have a designated indoor classroom should the weather be unsuitable for outdoor learning. We offer half-day and full-day options.   
Recommended Gear for Nature Preschool

In our nature preschool classes, children will:

  • Develop a positive relationship with the natural world.
  • Learn to appreciate all kinds of weather.
  • Develop a sense of wonder about the world around them.
  • Expand their use of all senses collaboratively, including their sense of balance and movement.
  • Be outdoors for at least 2 hours at a time in all weather.
  • Experience risks and rewards.
  • Build relationships with peers and secure adults.
  • Develop kindergarten readiness skills, both academic and social emotional.

Nature classes are a good option for your child if:

  • You prefer a more intense environmental focus.
  • Your child adores extended outdoor play and exploration (or you would like them to develop this appreciation).
  • You can commit to providing appropriate outdoor gear or will ask for help obtaining it.
  • You value the benefits that a non-traditional setting offers including flexibility, spontaneity, and the outdoors.

Class Schedule Options

 

2020-2021 Class Schedule - COMING SOON! 

As soon as our 20-21 schedule is finalized, we will link it here.  Check back at the beginning of December.

2019-2020 Class Schedule 

Fees, Refunds & Withdrawals

 

2020-2021 Tuition Rates - COMING SOON
 


2019-2020 Tuition Rates

HALF-DAY PRESCHOOL RATES

  • Two-Day Classes: $135/month
  • Three-Day Classes: $202.50/month
  • Four-Day Classes: $270/month
  • Five-Day Classes: $337.50/month

FULL-DAY PRESCHOOL RATES
Note:  Before and after school care will be a separate registration process and fee for the 2019-2020 school year.  The rates below are only for the preschool portion of the day.

  • Tue/Thu: $96/week
  • Mon/Wed/Fri: $144/week
  • Mon-Fri: $240/week

REGISTRATION FEES

  • $100 (non-refundable)

WITHDRAWALS AND REFUND POLICY

Registration fees are not refundable.

Withdrawals before the school year begins:  If we are notified of a student withdrawal prior to July 10, the first month's tuition will not be charged. After July 10, refunds will be based on the program's ability to fill the class opening. If we are able to fill the spot before the first day of preschool, a full refund will be issued for the first month's tuition. If the spot is still empty once school begins, the first month's tuition will be forfeited in order to cover program operating costs.

Withdrawals during the school year: Beginning 9/16/2019 our withdrawal  policy requires a 30 day notice.  You are responsible to pay the full months tuition of the last day of your 30 day notice period.  

lATE pICK-uP POLICY

It is extremely important that you pick up your child at the time stated for your class.  We reserve the right to charge a $15.00 late fee for each five minute increment that a child is not picked up.  We do understand that the curb-side pick up process may be delayed, and reserve the right to waive the late fee for circumstances deemed outside of your control.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Indicate your request for financial assistance when prompted during our online preschool registration process.  There is a limited amount of Early Learning Scholarships available through MDE.  The Early Learning Scholarship program awards scholarships up to $7,500 to high-need families who meet eligibility requirements.  A family’s income must be equal to or less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level, per the chart below, or be participating in any of the following programs: free and reduced-price lunch, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), Food Distribution on Indian Reservations, Head Start, Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Supplemental Nutritional Aid Program (SNAP), or Foster Care.

MDE prioritizes scholarship funds to first meet the needs of children of teen parents, children currently in foster care, children in need of child protective services, or those who have experienced homelessness in the last 24 months.

The chart below is based on the poverty guidelines published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2019.

Family Size Gross Income Family Size Gross Income
2 $31,283.50 6 $63,991.50
3 $39,460.50 7 $72,168.50
4 $47,637.50 8 $80,345.50
5 $55,814.50 9* $88,522.50

*For family units of more than nine members, add $8,177 for each additional member.

Scholarships are available to children who are 3 or 4 years old on September 1 of the school year the scholarship is used.  MDE estimates that funding will support approximately 11,000 scholarships per year, statewide, representing about 21% of the eligible children in Minnesota. 

PLEASE NOTE:  If an Early Learning Scholarship from MDE is not awarded, families are responsible to pay full preschool fees.

CALENDARS AND HANDBOOKS

Family Events

family events at Edgewood School

Environmental Education Celebration
October 14, 2019
4:30-6:00 p.m.

END OF YEAR CELEBRATION
June 2, 2020
4:30-6:00 p.m.