Video by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News
Westerman Preschool & Family Center Principal Kristin Crowe says that even some longtime AAPS employees don’t fully realize the scope of programming at her school.
For instance, while they realize the school is the learning center for the district’s youngest students, they don’t know it is the home of the district’s:
In addition to the above programs run from the school at 2775 Boardwalk, satellite preschool programs are also located at Allen, Bryant, Mitchell, and Thurston elementary schools (where there are also GSRP and Head Start programs at some of the sites) are run under the auspices of the preschool.
Most of the school’s students come from low-income families and would not otherwise be able to access preschool and the staff help prepare children with such things as problem-solving skills, social-emotional, health, and literacy skills before they get to kindergarten or Young Fives.
“We meet every child where they are, regardless of the funding source that allows them to attend our program,” says Crowe. “We follow the same high-quality set of early childhood program standards for each and every child that we serve. We’re building a set of these foundational skills through active learning, and partner with families to help children do their best.”
The school was renamed in 2016 for longtime education advocate and former AAPS superintendent W. Scott Westerman, Jr.
Early On is for infants and toddlers up to age 3, and Preschool is for ages 3-4.
The sprawling school, located near the Balas Administration Building, is the weekday home-away-from-home for 190 students enrolled in a classroom.
The school’s satellite locations at Allen, Bryant, Mitchell, and Thurston have 76 preschoolers enrolled. Plus, more children are enrolled in the school’s Community Services Program—meaning they are not enrolled in Preschool classrooms but qualify for speech, occupational or physical therapy services.