The Avoca Community Preschool in District 37 has received the highest accreditation from the nation’s leading organization for early childhood professionals.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) granted the distinction after a year-long evaluation of the preschool, which is located in Wilmette.
“NAEYC has specific criteria they look at when determining what programs they will accredit; these criteria include curriculum, teaching style, self-assessment, teachers themselves and relationships the school has with the surrounding communities,” said Dr. Kevin Jauch, superintendent.
The preschool serves children ages three and four from Winnetka, Northfield, Glenview and Wilmette. Class sizes reach a maximum of 15 children with three adults in each of the morning and afternoon sessions.
The program is a blended one, Jauch said, which has approximately two-thirds of the students normally developing, while one-third of students have special needs.
“The children learn side by side, and we have one teacher, one speech/language pathologist and a teaching assistant in each class,” Jauch said.
Children at the preschool, Jauch said, are able to get the most individualized attention, and teachers have the opportunity to tweak the program for each individual child.
Preschool classes are taught in two classrooms in the Marie Murphy Middle school building.
“This has truly been a team effort which included the board of education, parents and staff, former superintendent Joe Porto, Cindy Devin, who is the director of pupil services and Executive Assistant Kat Cetrone,” Jauch said.
“What this accreditation says is that we are the best of the best, and we are grateful and humbled for that honor” he said.