Sibley East adds early childhood class this fall


Because of high enrollment, Sibley East’s Early Childhood Family Education program has added a class for three-year-old students.

Amy Sell, coordinator of Sibley East ECFE, said that it was planned to offer two programs for four-year-olds in Gaylord, two programs for four-year-olds in Arlington, and one program for three-year-olds at each site this year.

However, because of the high enrollment, a third three-year-old class was added at the Arlington campus, with Gaylord students being bused to the site.

The four-year-old program, called PALS, is held three days per week. In Gaylord, it is held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and in Arlington it is held Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

The Discovery program for three-year-olds is held two days per week. In Gaylord it is Tuesdays and Fridays, and in Arlington it is Wednesdays and Fridays.

Gaylord’s PALS and Discovery programs are all integrated with special education students.

Forty students are enrolled in PALs at Gaylord, and 35 in Arlington. For the Discovery program, there are 17 students enrolled in Gaylord and 16 enrolled in Arlington. With the third Discovery class, the classes will be divided.

“We feel the word is out that preschool is a very important step to Kindergarten,” Sell commented. “A lot is expected for children in Kindergarten. This will help get them ready for the next step.”

“We are fortunate to have busing available through the school district for a minimal cost to parents,” Sell said. The monthly fee for busing is $30/month for PALS and $20/month for Discovery.

At Gaylord there are five adults for 20 children, while at Arlington, there are two adults.

Early Childhood teachers are Sell and Stephanie Bandas. Irene Garcia serves as a bilingual paraprofessional. Other paraprofessionals for the program are Ann Koch and Rachel Marben.

In addition to the daytime preschool classes, other Early Childhood Family Education classes are also offered. A listing of classes may be found in the Sibley East Community Education book that is mailed to district residents, or look on the Sibley East website, You may also contact Sell at 507-237-3379.