The first year of the Rugby Early Learning Center (RELC) has gone extremely well. I have spoken with numerous parents and have received very positive comments regarding our program. Presently we are serving 37 four-year-olds in our two classroom facility. Staffing consists of one highly qualified early childhood teacher, a para-professional, and an additional aide in each classroom. Our low student to teacher ratio helps provide individualized experiences for students. The Rugby Early Learning Center is a full day preschool that operates four days a week. We believe the full day program helps parents with daycare, and employment responsibilities. The only cost of the program is for the child’s lunch and breakfast.
North Dakota is one of the few states that does not provide state funding for preschool. A small step was taken after last legislative session. The legislature allowed local school districts to use their general fund to implement preschool programming. The board of education jumped on the opportunity to provide preschool for the parents within our community. There is extensive research behind preschool and the positive impact it has for students at all income levels. The Rugby Early Learning Center provides kindergarten readiness, social, and emotional experiences for students. The educational experience is largely done through organized play and small group activities. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York recently said, “The statistics are overwhelming. Children who receive early education perform 25% better on math by the second grade, 20% better on English, 30% are more likely to graduate from high school, and 32% are less likely to be arrested as a juvenile.” The more we learn about the brain the more important it is to create a solid foundation during the early years.
The Rugby Early Learning Center assesses preschool readiness standards by observing children through play and small group activities. Based on these observations students have shown tremendous growth in the following areas: School Readiness, Early Math, Social and Emotional Development, Creative Arts, Language, and Literacy. Our program accepts all income levels and is free other than a small fee for meals.
The Rugby Early Learning Center will begin taking applications on February 2, 2015. Applications can be picked up at Ely Elementary, Rugby High School, Rugby Early Learning Center, and they are available at our school website. The deadline to return your application is on April 10, 2015. Priority will be given to children that will attend kindergarten during the 2016-2017 school year. Applications may be returned at any of the locations mentioned above. For more information please contact Jason Gullickson (Principal) at (701)776-5757 or Brenda Olson (Site Director) at (701) 776-5721.