RIPLEY, Ohio – The Ripley Union Lewis Huntington Preschool recently earned an award from state officials.
Ripley Elementary Pre-K Program received a Five-Star Step Up to Quality award from the state of Ohio. The Step Up to Quality is Ohio’s rating system for learning and development programs given out by Early Childhood Ohio, a joint program from the Ohio departments of Education, Job and Family Services, Health, Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Early Childhood Advisory Council and the state Board of Education.
Several standards RULH Elementary Pre-K had to meet to earn a five-star rating included:
— Having low staff to child ratios.
— Using child assessment results to plan activities that best support learning and development goals for each child.
— Sharing assessment results and creating goals for children.
— Developing plans to support children as they transition to a new classroom or educational setting.
— Working with other organizations or businesses within the community to support children and their families.
— Having an active and organized parent volunteer group.
— Using input from families and community partners’ to ensure the program’s continuous improvement process.
— Having accreditation by an approved organization.
Director of the Brown County Educational Service Center Susie McFarland said the preschool was proud to be a five-star program.
“We know that children have approximately 1,892 days from birth until school starts, and every day matters,” McFarland said. “It is important to us that children develop their self-confidence, social and emotional skills, and a love of learning.”
RULH Superintendent James Wilkins said that he was very proud of the preschool teachers and teacher aides.
“Their hard work is benefiting the children of Ripley,” Wilkins said. “I’d also like to thank Mrs. Susan McFarland, the BCESC Preschool Supervisor, who has done an outstanding job of advancing our preschool.”
According to Early Childhood Ohio, research confirms that the first five years of a child’s life has a direct impact on how children develop emotional well-being in addition to learning and social skills. For these reasons, they said, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Education are committed to improving early childhood opportunities for all children in the state.