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All-Day Kindergarten Starts at Bells Mill

Interview with Bells Mill Principal Jerri Oglesby

Is there anything you wish parents would do more?

“Well, we are fortunate in the fact that we have a very involved community. It is our expectation and hope that parents will continue to be very involved in the school programs and education of their children.”

Is there anything you wish parents would do less?

“No. We welcome their involvement; it is very important to have a strong partnership with the community.”

What will be the biggest challenges Bells Mill Elementary will face this year?

“One of the biggest challenges Bells Mill Elementary will face this year is to make sure that we have enough space to offer all of the programs that we need to have for the children. We are very overcrowded. It will be a challenge to ensure that our new all-day kindergarten program is implemented properly.”

What is your favorite thing about Bells Mill Elementary?

“My favorite thing about Bells Mill Elementary is the phenomenal staff that we work with and the supportive and caring community that we have. We truly believe that we are a school family and that the support in the school is like that of a family. We also welcome and greatly appreciate diversity and the uniqueness of the school community.”

What will be the biggest differences between this year and last year?

“We have started an all-day kindergarten program, which has caused us to have to make interior moves as to the location of classrooms. Last year, we had three half-day kindergarten classes with two teachers teaching it. This year, we have expanded the kindergarten program to three full-day classes taught by three teachers. Another difference is that the Techmod program has allowed Bells Mill to get brand new computers — we have switched from Macs to PCs. All students will have access to very dynamic and state-of-the-art technology.”

Are there any new teachers?

Yes. Carolyn Yunker will teach the intermediate level of a class for children with autism, and Anne Tulick will be a speech pathologist.

SPECIAL PROGRAM

Head Start provides education and early childhood development services for low-income children. The program offers individualized services for medical, dental and mental health and encourages parent involvement.

At a Glance

Racial/Ethnic Composition

African American: 10.8%

American Indian: 0.4%

Asian: 20.5%

Hispanic: 5.6%

White: 62.6%

Receiving special education.: 11.9

English as a Second Language 6.9

Free and reduced meals 11.0

Student/instructional staff ratio: 9.8

Average class size (grades one, two): 24.0

Average class size (grades three through five): 23.4

Average class size (kindergarten): 16.0

Projected enrollment/capacity: 434/376*