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Q & A - New Normandy Early Learning Center

Q & A - New Early Learning Center 

Normandy's Newest Edition - The Early Learning Center

Q.  Why build a new Early Learning Center?
A.  First, we have successful early childhood center program which has been recognized by the state for its curriculum, providing our youngest students a strong academic foundation. The PreK program is state-licensed and the Center’s Postive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) program has received the Bronze Award from the state for two consecutive years. Based on state assessments students who attend our ECC program are better prepared for kindergarten.

Secondly, research is unanimous when it comes to the benefits of a strong ECC program: these students perform better academically throughout their careers. By making the investment in our youngest learners, we have the opportunity to set a new standard within the district and the metropolitan area. Very few public school districts offer free early childhood programs to their residents. In the state of Missouri, only 3 percent of children have access to public ECC programs. We have an opportunity to be a leader in the state by making this significant investment in our children and our community.

Q.  Where will the new school be located?
A.  The new school will be on the site of the current Normandy 7th-8th Grade Center, next door to Lucas Crossing Elementary and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Q.  What will happen to the current building at that location?
A.  The new Early Learning Center is scheduled to open for the 2019-2020 school year. The current N78C will be vacant until it can be torn down.  

Q.  What will happen to the current sites of the Normandy Early Childhood Center and Kindergarten Center?
A.  We are in investigating ways to best re-purpose the current NECC building. The Kindergarten Center (the former Bel-Nor Elementary) will become a school for students in grades 1-8.

Q.  How will this new facility affect current Pre-K child care centers in the footprint?
A.  Superintendent Dr. Pearson has spoken with child care providers who expressed their concerns about a new public ECC facility and how this may affect their businesses. The Collaborative has worked with other child care advocates in the community to support these centers and want the same thing they do — provide the best early childhood experience for these students and their families. As we will not be able to accommodate every PreK child in our footprint, we will continue to work with these facilities on ways to ensure these children are prepared for kindergarten and beyond.

Q.  How will a new Early Learning Center help the district with its academic performance?
A.  As referenced in Question 1, the research is consistent when it comes to the benefits of strong early childhood programs. As we look to the future of Normandy, we want to position our students to be better prepared from Day One. If students have a strong foundation in the basic skills like reading and math, they are more likely to perform on grade level when they enter the upper grades and high school. The more students who are able to perform on grade level, the less likely we are to have to provide remedial support which may also lead to less discipline issues in the higher grades, increased attendance and graduation rates.

Q.  Will there be bus transportation for the new ECC students?
A.  We are still investigating this as an option. We will keep parents and community members posted once we arrive at a final decision.

Q.  When will the new Early Learning Center open?
A.  The new school is scheduled to open for the 2019-2020 school year.

Q.  What is the timeline for the other Prop N bond issue building upgrades?
A.  We are working with our architects and contractors to have the elementary school building additions complete by Winter 2019. Jefferson and Washington Elementary will have new library media centers and STEAM studios constructed. All elementary schools will receive additions and upgrades to accommodate the return of 7th and 8th grade students as part of the Collaborative’s plan to reconfigure the elementary schools to a grade 1-8 model.