The first year of Skyline pre-school has been highly successful.

There were lots of happy, excited children at the Skyline pre-school and kindergarten open house. Next year's pre-schoolers got to visit the classroom, get their handprint on a poster, play with some toys, have their picture taken and meet their future teachers.

The first year for pre-school at Skyline has been success and positive experience for the students and teachers.

Being in pre-school allows students to get acquainted with the kindergarten teachers and classroom so they are already used to the kindergarten routine when they go to the next level, said Skyline Superintendent Becca Flowers.

Having all the kindergarten staff right there to work with the pre-schoolers is just exceptional, Flowers said.

Skyline has 24 students in pre-school this year and it is helping students be better prepared for kindergarten academically, socially and mentally.

"This takes us so much farther for the outcome of readiness," Flowers said.

The pre-schoolers have a special fenced-off area created just for them. It provides a very safe place for them to play and it's just by the door that leads to their classroom.

The district has gotten positive feed back from the parents. They like having their children here with their older siblings plus the beginning and ending times for pre-school and kindergarten are the same.

Having a pre-school is helping the students be truly prepared for kindergarten.

Overall, this has been a very positive addition to the school with lots of positive results for the children.

"This has been a neat experience for the kids. And we get to watch the transition into kindergarten," Flowers said. "It's fun. I'm excited to watch them transition into kindergarten."

Getting the pre-school started took a lot of work and a lot of money. The district does get some state aid but it's small compared to the entire cost for getting the program started.

"It's expensive but it's such a great investment," Flowers said.

The district was able to get an Early Learning Grant from the state that will help with teacher supplies, covering the cost of the curriculum and other expenses.

Having a pre-school is helping Skyline meet some of the five outcomes the Kansas Board of Education requires for schools. One of those outcomes is students being ready for kindergarten.

The other outcomes KBOE looks at are social and emotional growth, graduation rates, an individual plan of study for all in grades 8-12, post-secondary completion (what they do after high school).

There have been other changes that are making all these outcomes possible. It's been a great blessing for the district, Flowers said.