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Golden Bear Preschool receives grant

With the help of a grant through Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, Shelbyville Central Schools' Golden Bear Preschool is anticipating quickly moving up from being a Level 1 to Level 3 Paths to Quality school.

The preschool was automatically bumped back to Level 1 per procedure when SCS moved to the new location before the start of this school year.

Now, with a $144,811.32 grant in hand, principal Lora Nigh said she believes they can quickly move back up to Level 3 because the preschool program was previously at that level.

“We think we can do that pretty quickly,” she said.

Level 3 is the second-highest level that can be achieved.

Nigh, with the help of superintendent Mary Harper and Susan Smith, who works at the preschool, applied for the grant with two goals in mind: Upgrade the new facility to Level 3, and increase capacity. With the move, the school was able to increase enrollment.

Some of the money will go toward faculty members completing professional development hours that are required for Level 3 status.

With the grant, the school is required to reach Level 3 status within one year.

Nigh believes with their experience, they can fast track it and complete it by October.

The school will have a coach coming in the next two weeks to confirm that teachers are following state requirements as part of the process to reach that level.

Shelbyville’s grant money amount was the second-largest of the 14 awarded.

Clay Academy, LLC, in Shelbyville was also awarded $22,710.59.

The total amount awarded among the 14 locations was $876,225.81.

The preschool completed its second full week on Friday.

Nigh said the first couple weeks went smoothly with teachers and students working hard.

“I think the dust has settled a little bit,” she said.

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