- Overland Trail Middle School
Bright Beginnings is a leader in early childhood education
We BELIEVE that meeting students’ individual needs through customized learning has a powerful impact on student success. Through 27J’s Bright Beginnings preschool program, we are harnessing that power for our youngest learners.
Bright Beginnings is a leader in developing and implementing a preschool program that prepares EVERY student for kindergarten. And their success is gaining regional attention.
Representatives from Adams 12, Westminster Public Schools, Mapleton Public Schools, St. Vrain Valley School District, and RE-1 Valley School District have visited Bright Beginnings or reached out to learn about the innovative program.
With a capacity of 144 students and a higher staff-to-student ratio, Bright Beginnings offers morning and afternoon preschool sessions for regular education students and students with special needs.
A key part of what makes Bright Beginnings so innovative is a collaborative classroom approach where regular education and special need peers share a classroom at least fifty percent of the time through a flex schedule and joined-door classrooms.
Since preparing both regular education and special needs students with the social-emotional skills and language skills needed for kindergarten is the program’s top priority, two early childhood support educators have five support staff per classroom of 10 to 12 students.
This staff-to-student ratio allows for students to receive individualized attention and for staff members to work together to tailor each student’s lesson plans to where they are at with their learning and social skill needs. Bright Beginnings staff receive professional development training twice a month and work as one unit to ensure they effectively meet students’ needs.
In addition, there is an occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, and school psychologist to offer specialized support for students.
“We are changing and informing our programming at Bright Beginnings in a more sensible way for our students and staff,” Bethany Ager said. Bethany is an Early Childhood Coordinator and the principal of Bright Beginnings.
“This year, we are sending more special needs students prepared for kindergarten with great improvement in their needs, which means we have broken down enough barriers they were facing during their time at Bright Beginnings.”
Special needs students are not the only ones benefiting from this specialized program. Regular education students leave Bright Beginnings with friends who may require different needs than theirs and have learned how to interact and include them in a learning environment.
Seeing how these students get along and learn best alongside each other makes Bright Beginnings a successful preschool program and a special place for its students, staff, and families.
The intentional support and inclusive learning Bright Beginnings provides for 27J’s youngest learners is one more #ReasontoBelieve. #IBelievein27JSchools