Jordan Center for Early Education celebrates a successful 1st year - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Jordan Center for Early Education celebrates a successful 1st year

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Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2014 2:15 pm

Jordan Center for Early Education is celebrating its one-year anniversary.

Part of Mesa Public Schools, the preschool center opened its doors in August 2013 to increase opportunities for children of all abilities and provide a seamless network of professionals to meet their unique needs. More than 540 students attended the center during the 2013-14 school year.

Increased inclusion learning opportunities

Jordan serves a diverse population of special education and general education preschoolers, and utilizes a variety of programs and methods to maximize their learning potential. The educational program and campus are specifically designed to increase school readiness and develop skills to best equip young learners for future success. Inclusion, a focus of the school’s programming, promotes meaningful interaction between students with special needs and their peers.

Kim Freehan, department specialist for early childhood, said, “Jordan has become a great place for children of all backgrounds to learn together, play together and become one community together.”

Classrooms are grouped by “pods” to create a natural family atmosphere and allow teachers to easily transition children between special education and general education classrooms. Pods take turns hosting monthly music and movements sessions for all students and staff. During this time, students sing and dance while laughing with friends and building a sense of community through shared experiences.

At the heart of the campus are three age-appropriate playgrounds, which provide opportunities for inclusive play and social interaction.

A seamless network of professionals

Tot Wallace, director of community education, said, “We created a preschool model that meets the needs of every family regardless of placement.” The model includes a network of professionals, from highly qualified, certified teachers whose specialty is early childhood education to evaluation teams, speech-language pathologists and physical and occupational therapists who collaborate to provide targeted services to students.

Exciting summer renovations

Jordan is marking the first-year success with exciting summer renovations that will enhance the campus and its objectives. The building is receiving a makeover that includes higher ceilings, bright colors and a child-friendly atmosphere. The front-office and reception-area redesign will utilize the space more effectively and make it more welcoming to preschoolers and families.

“We are excited about the updates because we were able to redesign our school to address the needs of 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds.” said Wallace, “It’s going to be fresh and vibrant and appealing.”

Enrollment for the 2014-15 school year is underway. For more information, visit www.mpsaz.org/jordan or call (480) 472-7250.

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