MT. VERNON — Mt. Vernon Township High School’s recent decision to place its TLC Preschool program on an alternating year schedule drew sharp criticism Monday from some members of the MVTHS faculty.
The program will now only be offered every other year instead of annually.
With the preschool, Career Technical Education students at MVTHS who are interested in primary or day care education are able to work with young children or observe pre-K classes to gain valuable experience.
“It’s something that is very dear to my heart,” said MVTHS teacher Brittany Boldt, who runs the preschool. “I think that it’s important for early childhood, but I think it’s so important for high school students because it’s a CTE program and that’s something ... that we really flourish on is that hands-on experience for our CTE students.”
Boldt and others spoke about the TLC program at Monday night’s meeting of the MVTHS Board of Education.
Superintendent Michael Smith said MVTHS administrators decided to alter the preschool schedule because it was the most cost-effective way to keep the program going.
If the district were to continue to offer the preschool every year, a new “half-time teacher” would have to be hired, which is not feasible for MVTHS at this point, Smith said.
“Our plan is to go into a rotation with this where it’s offered every other year,” Smith said. “Nothing against the class. It’s a great class.”
Boldt argued that many high school students who take the preschool CTE courses come back to Mt. Vernon and start their own businesses.
“From what I can gather, the preschool has been here for at least 50 years,” Boldt said.
MVTHS teacher Crystal Nowak also spoke out Monday, urging the school board to fight for keeping the program as it is.