At PLSAS we have been busy preparing for the 2021-22 school year, which includes a return to in-person learning, five days a week. For K-12 families who wish to pursue an online learning option, we have included details at the end of this communication. We have also been carefully tracking health and safety information from public health officials in an effort to help ensure our buildings remain safe places to learn and work.
Circle of Friends Preschool
Circle of Friends Preschool is a 4-STAR PARENT AWARE RATED PROGRAM
We are committed to preparing your child for success in school and life skills! Starting preschool is an exciting milestone in your child's life. Our licensed teachers set up classrooms to help children discover a love for learning while working on social emotional skills that will help get them ready for lifelong learning.
Our classes are for children who turn three or four years old by September 1st. We use a whole-child approach that focuses on the individual needs and interests of our students through play-based learning. We base our school readiness standards on the Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress and staff follow a district approved Curriculum to guide their lessons. Our classes incorporate our district’s E-STEM philosophy. Our program has a 4-star Parent Aware rating.
- Class Options & Tuition Fees
- How to Register
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Back-To-School Information 2021-2022
- CALENDARS AND HANDBOOKS
- FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
- Withdrawal and Late Pick-Up Policy
- Childcare Options - Kids' Company
CLASS FORMAT OPTIONS
Whether you choose a School Readiness or Nature School Readiness classroom setting, the E-STEM educational philosophy is integrated throughout all of our preschool programming.
- School Readiness: These preschool class options are located at Edgewood School. Classes do access both the indoor and outdoor learning environments.
- Nature School Readiness: These preschool class options are located at both Edgewood School and Jeffers Pond Elementary. The outdoors is the primary classroom with indoor spaces available as needed. We go outside in rain, snow & sunshine. We are able to assist with providing outdoor clothing as needed.
Kids’ Company offers child care to work with your Circle of Friends preschool schedule. All day school experiences are provided in kindergarten. Preschool experiences will remain in the half-day format, with the option to add childcare through Kids' Company, our district's childcare program. For more information, visit the Preschool Childcare tab on Kids' Company's web page.
PRESCHOOL EXTENSION OPPORTUNITIES
The following fee-based opportunities are available for families who wish to to extend their child's time at school.
- Extension Classes through Community Education
Community Education extension classes before or after preschool might include topics such as Spanish, Music, Art, etc.
- Lunch Bunch Option/Preschool Extension for Half Day Preschool at Edgewood
Lunch bunch is an optional, fee based class offered to half day Circle of Friends preschool students who attend morning or afternoon classes at Edgewood School. During the preschool extension, children will gather to eat a nut-free lunch (sent from home) with early childhood staff. After lunch, they engage in enrichment activities designed to reinforce skills and knowledge they are learning in preschool.
Submitting an application is the first step in the registration process. Early childhood coordinators review all submitted applications. Student placement will be determined based on completed enrollment information, family preferences as well as individual and group characteristics, such as previous preschool experiences or birth dates (ex. classes geared toward older 4/5 year olds or younger 3 year olds). While applications are begin reviewed, your application status will remain "pending".
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS PRESCHOOL - FAQs
How old does my child need to be to start preschool?
Children need to be 3 or 4 years old, and fully independent in the bathroom, by September 1st.
Does my child need to be independent in the bathroom?
Yes, they do 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 own clothing. If your child has a bowel movement, guardians will be called and asked to come to school to change them. View this link for tips.
Kids' Company, the school district's child care program, will offer care to preschool families through a separate registration process. Once your child's enrollment has been finalized through Circle of Friends Preschool, please contact Kids' Company to register for child care. View the Kids' Company web page for program and contact information. Kids' Co. School Year Flyer
Once enrolled in a class, when can I expect to receive details about the preschool year?
- Week of July 26th: Families will receive an email that will include preschool paperwork that will need to be completed and returned to Edgewood School.
- Mid-August, families will receive a letter through U.S. mail with information about your preschool teacher and details about Meet the Teacher appointments that will occur in early September.
BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION AND ADDRESS UP TO DATE THROUGH YOUR ELEYO ACCOUNT. THAT IS THE ONLY CONTACT INFORMATION WE HAVE AT THIS POINT.
What if I'm placed on a waiting list?
If placed on a waiting list, our office will contact you to finalize enrollment as openings occur in your selected class(es). Students will be placed on a waiting lists for all classes listed on their application.
Is financial assistance available?
Yes, but there is a limited amount of financial assistance available for families who meet criteria. View the Financial Assistance tab below for details on how to apply for an early learning scholarship.
Can I request to have or not have a certain teacher?
Please list your request in the comment section of the application. We will do our best to honor your request but cannot guarantee it. Teachers are not assigned to classes until after enrollment is finalized.
Enrolled/Confirmed Preschool Families
Welcome to Circle of Friends Preschool for the 2021-2022 school year. We are looking forward to an exciting year of growth and development as your child works and plays in an environment that is safe yet challenging. School begins the week of September 13th. In August, information regarding your child's teacher and information about our Meet the Teacher opportunities will be mailed to families.
Below are the links to preschool paperwork that needs to be completed and returned to Edgewood School. If you need hard copies of any of these forms, they will be available in the lower level entry of Edgewood School for families to pick up during school hours (Monday-Friday 8:00-2:00).
- Emergency Form
- Health Form
- MDE's Parent Letter-FAQ
- MDE Enrollment Forms
- MDE Educational Benefits Packet
- Copy of birth certificate
- Copy of immunization records (Most clinics will fax immunization records to us directly)
Please email, mail or drop off the attached paperwork, birth certificate and immunization records prior to August 13, 2021:
Attn: Julie Miller
5304 Westwood Drive SE
Prior Lake, MN 55372
For families receiving special education services:
For students who receive special education services, please complete this Transportation Form. This is only for ECSE families. All ECSE families MUST complete this transportation form for the 2021-2022 school year. If you will be transporting your child, instead of using district transportation, please note your child’s name on the form and write “parent transport” across the front of the form.
If changes occur regarding this information prior to the start of school, all you need do is call the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) department with the new information at 952-226-0980. Your child’s van driver will call you just prior to the start of school with your student’s transportation pick-up and drop-off information.
Please send or drop off ECSE Transportation Form prior to August 13, 2021. Transportation forms received after September 1st may delay scheduling of district transportation.
Attn: Mel Owen
5304 Westwood Drive SE
Prior Lake, MN 55372
We are looking forward to the opportunity to serve you and your child.
Any questions regarding these preschool forms can be directed to:
- Julie Miller (general education) at 952-226-0952 or
- Mel Owens (early childhood special education) at 952-226-0980.
Your partners in education,
If your family is in need of a scholarship to help with preschool tuition, a Pathway I Early Learning Scholarship application must be completed and submitted directly to the Families First of Minnesota office in Rochester Minnesota.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Families First of Minnesota communicates directly with families, they do not provide application status or scholarship award information directly to Circle of Friends Preschool. Be sure to keep our office updated on the progress of your application and the award status.
How do I apply for an Early Learning Scholarship?
To apply for a Pathway I – Early Learning Scholarship, the legal guardian of the child must follow these steps:
- Print and complete the application. Please be sure that all required areas have been completed and the application has been signed in ink. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
- Include required proof of income either Option 1 or Option 2, listed on the application. The application will be returned if appropriate documents are not provided.
- Submit your original application to the Families First office in-person or by mail to: Families First of Minnesota | Early Learning Scholarships | 126 Woodlake Drive SE | Rochester, MN 55904
(Faxed or emailed applications will not be considered for a scholarship)
If you have questions about this application or scholarship program, please contact Families First of Minnesota directly: 1-888-450-2773 (Carver, Dakota and Scott County residents).
List of Area Administrators and eligibility criteria
Fiscal Year 2021 Early Learning Scholarships
The Early Learning Scholarship Program awards scholarships of up to $7,500 to high-need families meeting eligibility requirements. Starting on July 1, 2020, children in a priority status will be eligible for a higher cap.
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.
Scholarships are prioritized to first meet the needs of children of teen parents, currently in foster care, in need of child protective services, or 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|
*For family units of more than nine members, add $8,288 for each additional member.
Scholarships are available to children who are age 3 or 4 years old on September 1 of the school year the scholarship is used, or age 5 if not yet aged out of eligibility. Families interested in applying should contact their area or tribal administrator listed or call 1-888-291- 9811.
Registration fees and first month's tuition are not refundable.
Withdrawals (before the school year begins)
If we are notified of a student withdrawal prior to May 1st, the first month's tuition will not be charged. After May 1st, refunds will be based on the program's ability to fill the vacancy. 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)
A 30-day written notice to the preschool office at Edgewood School is required. Families are responsible to pay full tuition for the month of withdrawal.
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.
Kids' Company, the school district's child care program, will offer care to preschool families through a separate registration process. Once your child's enrollment into Circle of Friends Preschool is finalized, please visit the Kids' Company web page for child care registration and office contact information.
Each year, Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools' staff are nominated for awards to celebrate the successes of both teaching and support staff in the categories listed. Congratulations to this year's award winners!
As we emerge from this turbulent year of constant change, LakerMarketplace, on behalf of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools, would like to thank our wonderful community for your continued support. Wednesday, June 2 was our last day of Meals-to-Go curbside pick-up for this school year.
Because PLSAS will not be providing meals throughout the summer, we want to share several options for free meals.
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Our mission is to provide a safe environment where young children of all abilities can grow and experience success, and their parents can be partners in learning.
OUR PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM FOCUSES INCLUDE:
- Personal & Social Development
- Literacy & Language
- Mathematical Thinking & Problem Solving
- Arts & Creativity
- Physical & Motor Development
- Self-Help Skills
- Environmental Learning & Science