Preschool Information

Berne Union’s preschool program is a full-time program for students ages 3 through 6 years old. The majority of our students will attend one or two years of preschool prior to kindergarten, but due to birthdate or readiness, some children attend preschool for three years.  (Ohio law requires students to attend kindergarten if they are six years old by August 1 of that calendar year.  However, most students begin kindergarten at age five if they have attended preschool and demonstrate kindergarten readiness skills.)

Our preschool program follows the elementary school hours of 9:00 am – 3:30 pm.  The preschool classes meet Monday through Thursday; there is NO preschool on Fridays.  Because we follow the elementary schedule, transportation is provided on the elementary busses for students who live in the Berne Union School District, should the family wish to take advantage of that.  Approximately half of our preschoolers use school transportation each year, and the other half are transported by their parents or other family members.

The preschool program is a tuition only program, meaning that students are required to pay tuition to attend.  This is standard for all preschool programs, as participation in preschool is not required by law.  We do not have options for free or reduced tuition; all spots require full tuition.  Berne Union’s tuition is extremely competitive for Fairfield County and is raised minimally each school year.  Tuition is broken up into payments to make the expense more affordable to families.  Families who get behind in tuition payments will be removed from the program per school district policy to provide a spot for another child on the waiting list.  Tuition is based only on the number of days the preschool is in session, so families are not paying for Fridays, holiday breaks, etc.  Tuition is currently around $3,000 per year.  This is much less than most families can find childcare for the same amount of time.

Our preschool program currently has two classrooms.  Each classroom is led by a licensed early childhood education teacher and also has a licensed paraprofessional to assist the teacher and students.  Typically one class is smaller than the other class to accommodate students in special education who have more intensive needs based on their IEPs.  However, in both classrooms, the large majority of the students are typical students.  One of our teachers is dually licensed to teach both students in general education and special education.  Our classrooms are a mixture of genders, ages, and ability levels. We do not honor requests for children to be placed in a particular classroom.

The preschool tuition includes breakfast each morning upon arrival and a daily afternoon snack.  Both of these are provided by the food services department.  Parents are only expected to provide a lunch for their child each day, either by purchasing one through the food services department or packing their child a lunch.  Parents are not asked to contribute snacks for the program, as many other preschool programs require.

Applications for the preschool program are taken on a continuing basis, although enrollment decisions for the upcoming school year are typically made in the spring based on the waiting list at that time.  The board approved enrollment policy is strictly enforced when enrollment decisions are made.  Students with disabilities receive first priority, children of staff members receive second priority, and students who reside in the Berne Union school district receive third priority.  Out of district students will be admitted only if spots remain after all Berne Union families are on the roster.  Within each category, priority is given based on birthdate, with the oldest children being admitted first.  Typically, we are able to serve all Berne Union students and some out of district students.

The school day usually consists of a variety of large and small group activities with many opportunities for student choice.  The majority of the academic activities take place in the morning.  Students spend a chunk of time in the afternoon taking a nap or resting, and each child has a cot assigned to them for this purpose.  The goal of the preschool program is to educate the whole child and to prepare them for success in kindergarten.

Further questions about the preschool program can be directed to Jennifer Lehman (Director of Student Services) at lehmanj@buschools.com or (740) 746-9811 or Jodi Poling (Preschool Secretary) at polingj@buschools.com or (740) 746-8341.  Thank you for your interest in the Berne Union Preschool Program!