Preschool Information

Image of a child drawing with crayons. Berne Union's Preschool Program

Berne Union’s preschool 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 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 available on the elementary busses for students who live in the Berne Union School District. Approximately half of our preschoolers use school transportation each year, and the other half are transported by their parents or family members.

The preschool 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 $4,000 per year. This is much less than most families can find childcare for the same amount of time.

Our preschool currently has two classrooms. Each classroom is led by a licensed InterventionClipart of Kids with the letters A, B and C Specialist (special education teacher) and also has a paraprofessional to assist the teacher and students. The classes are a mixture of students with disabilities and students without, 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.

The registration process for preschool has been recently updated, effective the 2019-2020 school year. Preschool and kindergarten registration will take place simultaneously in early March. Please call the elementary office at (740)746-9668 to make an appointment to register your child. Registering your child for preschool does not necessarily guarantee enrollment. The board approved enrollment policy is strictly enforced when enrollment decisions are made. Students with disabilities receive first priority, returning students receive second priority, children of staff members receive third priority, and students who reside in the Berne Union school district receive fourth 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.

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 preschool can be directed to Melissa Drury (Elementary Principal) at drurym@buschools.com or (740) 746-9688 or Sonya Downour (Elementary Secretary) at downours@buschools.com or (740) 746-9668. Thank you for your interest in preschool at Berne Union!