WIND POINT — Due to significant growth in its pre-kindergarten classrooms over several years, officials at The Prairie School have announced plans to build a new 12,500-square-foot Early School building set to open by August, 2021.
According to a press release from school, from 2013 to 2015 the average number of preschool students in Prairie’s Early School was 22. By 2019-20 that number jumped to 53.
With a waiting list since 2017, the opening of a new building will allow for a fourth Early School section, bringing new students and families into the school, located at 4050 Lighthouse Drive.
“This new building will allow us to meet the steadily increasing demand of parents who want their children to experience the benefits of a play-based, best practices curriculum,” said Nat Coffman, Prairie’s head of school and president.
Room to roam
School officials also stated that the addition will allow for increasingly balanced classrooms and optimal student-teacher ratios.
The new building will feature larger classrooms, 1,220-square-feet, allowing teachers more choices for facilitating creative play and exploration.
Officials also believe that more space per child will mean a calmer atmosphere more conducive to cooperative social play, small group or one-one-one academic support and space for individual work or rest.
“This new space will allow students the larger environment needed to ignite their curiosity,” Terie Carpenter, lead Early School teacher, stated. “It will give us more room to move throughout our centers exploring, questioning, investigating, collaborating, creating and reflecting. These are essential skills when building a young child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.”
The new wing is also planned to house a new art room, music room and multi-purpose room that will be available to all students, including primary, middle and upper school students.