HAZEL PARK OFFERS SOME GREAT PROGRAMS IN WHICH PARENTS CAN POSITION THEIR CHILDREN FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS prior to enrollment in traditional kindergarten. The programs are housed in the Webster Early Childhood Center, Hoover Elementary School, Webb Elementary, and there are a variety of options available for families looking for best-fit solutions.
“Here at Hazel Park, we strongly believe in the power and impact of early education,” said Stephanie Dulmage, Ed. S., Director of 21st Century Learning. Initiatives such as Early Fives, the Great Start Readiness Grant Program (GSRP), Head Start and Early Head Start strongly reflects the district’s mission.
GSRP is a State of Michigan-funded grant program that provides full-day tuition free education to preschool students for four days per week from September to June. The program services families in Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb counties, and follows a research-based HighScope curriculum designed to best position students for future success.
We also have the privilege of housing Head Start in Webster Elementary School. While this is not a Hazel Park-run program, families are able to access this program right here in our community for their students.
“The Early Fives program,” explained Dulmage, “is open to children who are kindergarten-aged, but not quite ready for enrollment or have birthdays after the cut-off date. The classrooms offer highly-skilled, personalized learning opportunities with kindergarten curriculum in which students are given two years to learn and grow.” Not every student follows the standard two-year path, however. “Some of our Early Fives do very well and are placed right into first grade after one year,” she said.
The Early Fives program is designed to ensure students are keeping pace with their peers. “This gives parents and kids a great option to have a slightly different pacing to develop their learning,” said Dulmage. “They are placed in a smaller setting with individualized learning based on their growth needs. This way, we can really meet them where they are.”
She added, “There are several ways in which children are identified for participation in Early Fives. Either, they have a birthday after the cut-off date or parents just know about the program and are really excited about it. They want their children to participate. We also work to support those who would benefit from Early Fives based on their performance in the Webster Early Childhood Center.”
With a variety of early learning program offerings, the district encourages families to start their children’s education at a young age, so they’re best positioned for future success. Dulmage explained, “Hazel Park School District values early education and we try to provide students with as many opportunities as possible.”