St. John Christian Preschool associate director obtains Early Childhood Certification

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Charles City, IA – Parents know living with preschoolers requires a different set of skills. Teaching 3 – 5 year olds also requires a completely different skill set, and Whittney Nordmeyer at St. John Christian Preschool is proficient in those early childhood standards.

Ms. Nordmeyer recently obtained her Early Childhood Certification from Buena Vista University. The 18-month certification process began with a year of classes and was completed with her student teaching in Osage and Charles City.

After obtaining the certification, Nordmeyer is better able to identify childhood developmental progress in the areas of social development, language development, gross motor skills, and where the children who attend St. John Christian Preschool are academically. She is able to apply the Iowa Early Learning Standards benchmarks so St. John students meet preschool standards and are ready for kindergarten.

“It’s important to know what a preschooler is capable of,” says Nordmeyer, “Little kids are smarter than adults give them credit for. Now, with this background, we know how to positively challenge our students to achieve their potential.”

This certification adds to the quality that parents have come to expect from St. John Christian Preschool over the last 39 years. St. John Christian Preschool is a Level Four Rated Certified Child Care Center as part of the Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS).

The Iowa QRS is a voluntary program, offering providers a structured rating system to rate the quality of childcare and education a preschool provides. Before a preschool can participate in Iowa’s QRS child care program, leaders in the St. John Christian Preschool ministry first complete mandatory training. The entire voluntary process took several years from start to finish. The program has five levels. Before you can achieve a level 5 status you must maintain a level four rating for two years. A preschool cannot initially be designated as a level five preschool. No preschool in Floyd County has obtained a five star rating. This 4 star rating from Iowa State University evaluators demonstrates the State of Iowa’s high confidence in the St. John Christian Preschool program.

“This is an outstanding recognition for St. John Christian Preschool,” says Kate Low, preschool director. “This shows the quality of learning we provide for families is of the highest value. Our students are ready to begin kindergarten, they have a high quality education in a Christian environment.”

“The State of Iowa recognizes that the value of education your child receives at St. John is among the highest in the state,” notes Whittney Nordmeyer, associate director of St. John Christian Preschool. “We have high quality education and high standards for our students and we meet and exceed those standards daily.”

The evaluation noted part of the success of the preschool is the level of education among the preschool staff. Kate Low, director of the preschool, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa has served the preschool for seven years. Whittney Nordmeyer, the associate director, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Reading from Luther College and an endorsement in Early Childhood Education from Buena Vista University. She has been with the preschool for three years. Carleen Laue who is in her ninth year with the preschool & Deb Hocking who has worked for 23 years at the preschool, are also regular staff members. Foster grandparent Evelyn Schmidt has been with the preschool for 24 years.

In the State’s review, the preschool was complimented on keeping up-to-date in trainings, providing excellent family communication, and maintaining the staff’s continuing education. As part of maintaining a level four high quality rating and working toward a level five, St. John Christian Preschool will continue to expand on these qualities.

The Iowa QRS program is voluntary and demonstrates a willingness to exceed expectations, “This is not something that is required,” remarks Nordmeyer. “We chose to take part in this program. We go above and beyond what is required to participate in the State Quality Rating System.”

You are invited to visit or enroll and experience the great things going on at St. John Christian Preschool. Registration for new students for the 2014-15 school year begins on March 24 at 7:45 AM. Registration materials and information can be obtained by visiting the preschool or online at the preschool’s website, www.sjcpreschool.org.

For more information about St. John Christian Preschool contact the preschool at at 641-228-7274, visit their website at www.sjcpreschool.org, or like them on Facebook. St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church is a church of the ELCA. Founded in 1872, the church has more than 1200 members. For more information about the church visit the church’s website at www.stjohncharlescity.org.

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