The Bolinas-Stinson School District is happy to announce that our preschool on the Stinson Beach Campus will open its door to 3-year-olds when school begins for the 2020-2021 school year. Last week, the Board of Trustees voted to expand enrollment so that all 3 & 4 year-olds living within District boundaries will have access to tuition-free preschool in the future. This is very rare among public schools.
The District has begun a partnership with Community Action Marin (CAM) the operator of the Bolinas Children’s Center and will be working with CAM to assess on going community needs. The partnership will take shape as the District’s existing program opens to 3-year-olds using current staff and facilities.
We offer our gratitude to the present and past staff members of the Bolinas Children’s Center and Community Action Marin for the years of service they have provided to our community and we are honored to be given the opportunity to continue serving children in the same tradition.
· There will be little immediate change to our program other than including 3-year-old’s and adjusting activities to include them. (3 & 4 year old combination classes are normal in preschools so to many people our program will look like it always has.)
· Community Action Marin will be closing their program at the Bolinas Children’s Center in June for a variety of reasons including a determination that the building is not safe and appropriate for a preschool. That was announced last week.
· The Bolinas-Stinson School District is not adding the CAM/BCC program or staff and is not expanding its preschool facility.
· The partnership between the District and CAM is evolving. As the shelter-in-place order is relaxed or lifted, we plan to conduct joint events to assess community needs in the future and to ensure the most efficient use of the resources that the school and CAM can provide.
· Our projections for the coming school year indicate that we will have space for all students who would have been served by the BCC. (We are expecting a total 10 to 15 (3 and 4 year old) children to enroll this fall.
(CAM is taking steps to provide separate services for infants and toddlers- a task they have been working on for some time and for which the BCC was not equipped. The District is not planning to add an infant/ toddler program.)
· We will prioritize enrollment of children living within the District’s boundaries. However, if space allows, we will continue the practice of serving out-of-district children. Under the current circumstances (with other regional preschools facing a variety of challenges) the school will create a waiting list for out-of-district students and then re-open enrollment later in the summer if we are confident that there will be room.
· Staff is developing a schedule to accommodate all students including those who would be better served by a partial day program.
As with any change, challenges will arise and we will have to evolve and adjust to ensure the best results for our local children and families. Over the next several weeks (under yet-unknown circumstances related to the pandemic) we will continue to organize and prepare to make this program the best it can be.
Thank you so much for your patience, optimism and support!