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Eugene preschool to show preference to upcoming kindergarten students

Eugene preschool to show preference to upcoming kindergarten students

Will discuss soccer program, extra weightlifting classes

March 22nd, 2018 by Allen Fennewald in Local News

There is a surplus of potential preschool students in Eugene.

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The Cole R-5 Board of Education unanimously approved the district's preschool program Tuesday. The program gives preference to pre-k students who will be attending kindergarten in one year.

There are 34 students ages 3-5 enrolled in the preschool program, including part-time students, and 35 students are already signed up for next year. There are currently 10 pre-K students on the waiting list, as well as one 3-year-old, with more parents voicing interest in the program.

Superintendent Dawna Burrow said it is important for 4- to 5-year-olds to have classroom experience before they enter kindergarten to develop behavioral skills and identify learning difficulties.

"Good problem to have," Burrow said. "We have a lot of parents interested, because our program has been so successful."

The board also unanimously approved allowing Activities Director Mike Phillips to look into converting at least one high school team sports class into a weightlifting class next fall so student athletes can have more opportunities to participate in strength training and agility exercises.

"We want our student athletes to be able to compete in every way," Phillips said. "We want to be able to compete with schools around us."

Phillips also requested and received unanimous approval to begin researching student interest and create financial estimates for implementing a soccer program. He said the district is losing students to other schools with soccer programs, and he would like to begin with a junior varsity schedule for the fall.

"We know our youth have the drive to play soccer," Phillips said. "I know when we play in class, all of the kids play."

At the conclusion of the meeting, the board unanimously approved altering the district's athletics uniform policy to state that school-funded jersey replacements will only occur after a team has their latest jerseys for four years. The volleyball program intends to hold fundraisers to replace worn team jerseys, but the district stipulated if the program purchased new jerseys on its own, volleyball would not receive school-funded jersey replacements for another four years.