Welcoming Future Muskies

Monday, January 18th started the open enrollment period for preschool and kindergarten within the Muscatine Community School District. Before I started working for the district, I was a parent of two students and can speak to how important preschool was for our boys. My oldest son, Henry, really enjoyed his three and four-year-old preschool and was so much better prepared to enter kindergarten. I can also attest to the level of care provided to Henry, who was diagnosed with SPD (sensory processing disorder) and has an IEP (individualized education program). Henry flourished thanks to educators like Diane Calzaretta, the late Michelle Cali, and countless others. 

The same could be said for my son Theodore, even though his four-year-old preschool experience was cut short (due to COVID last March). He’s currently enjoying kindergarten and has grown so much. Even though some mornings Theo declares, “I’m not going to school!” He doesn’t really mean that. If anything, once we arrive at school and head towards the lineup, he snaps into school mode. Just last week, he told me that, “You don’t have to walk me all the way.” I was shocked, but also proud at the same time.

I’ve been fortunate in my new job to have the ability to spend time within our school buildings, specifically the Muskie Early Learning Center. I’m so proud and thankful for my coworkers that are educating our youngest Muskies. So, if you’re a parent, I encourage you to visit www.Muscatine.K12.IA.US for more information and to potentially enroll your child.

Did I mention that the new offerings for this year include a bilingual four year old preschool option? How exciting is that?! Students will be taught half in English and half in Spanish. Also, we’re introducing the Kinder Academy that is targeted at young five-year-olds, such as those with summer birthdays. It will follow the same kindergarten curriculum and pacing, with students who are ready moving on to first grade following a year of the Kinder Academy. Get more information about that by once again visiting the website.

My family is also excited that our youngest, Lucy, is just a year (or so) away from entering three-year-old preschool. While I don’t want to rush her into growing up, I am excited for her to also have a great experience and begin her educational journey as a Muskie.

This week also marks the start of the second semester, and again, I applaud and recognize the efforts made by my 1,000 coworkers. I’m thankful that our students have the option to learn in-person while also supporting those families who have elected to use the virtual learning module. My hope is that as vaccines continue to roll out and be developed we can continue inching towards normalcy. I’ll close by welcoming all new Muskie students and their families and thank them for their trust with their children’s education.