The Times West Virginian

Local News

July 6, 2014

County adding two new preschools

Locations will be in Fairmont, Barrackville

FAIRMONT — This August, parents will be able to enroll their children in new preschools in Marion County.

The Marion County Board of Education is adding two new preschools. One will be in Fairmont and the other in Barrackville.

Randy Farley, administrative assistant for curriculum and instruction for Marion County Schools, said a new preschool will be placed in the same building as the Marion County Adult & Community Education Center. He said the preschool that was at Jayenne Elementary School will also be moved into the building.

“There will be two located there because we’re moving the one from Jayenne there, too,” Farley said.

The new preschool and the preschool from Jayenne will be located in the basement of the Marion County Adult & Community Education Center. Farley said that location was chosen instead of building a new building.

Farley said with more students enrolling in elementary, middle and high schools in the county, more space is needed. He said creating that space means preschools that are located in those schools are being moved to other buildings.

“That’s the problem we ran into at Jayenne,” Farley said. “We don’t have room anymore for a preschool at Jayenne, so we had to move it. (The Marion County Adult & Community Education Center is) where we had available space.”

Farley said the spaces where the preschools are going to be have been approved by the state fire marshal. He said the only things that needed to be done after the fire marshal inspected the areas were to add an exit sign to a classroom and a railing on an outside staircase.

“He sent a report back and said, yes, those two classrooms could be used for Pre-K,” Farley said. “We wouldn’t be putting ones there if it wasn’t approved.”

Farley said there have been concerns about having preschool students in the same location as high schoolers, but he said it has worked out very well.

With the new preschool and Jayenne’s preschool being moved to the Marion County Adult & Community Education Center where adults are more common, Farley assured that the preschoolers will be accompanied by a preschool teacher at all times.

Farley said he has no concerns having the two preschools in the same location as the Marion County Adult & Community Education Center.

“We have staff and people that are with (the students) 24/7 while they’re there, so I’m not concerned about that in any way,” he said.

Donna Metz, principal of the Marion County Adult & Community Education Center, said the individuals who attend the center are working on their Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). The TASC replaced the GED.

In the evening, Metz said there are classes there for electrical work and adult prep. She said students who attend the center are, at the youngest, 16 years old.

“We have various individuals that are preparing to go to college,” she said. “We also have students that have recently been laid off work and are here to obtain jobs and to learn about what options they have.”

Metz said they are going to make everything they can accommodating for the preschoolers in both classrooms.

The two preschools that will be located at the Marion County Adult & Community Education Center will be in separate rooms, according to Farley. Both preschools will be operating the start of the school year in August.

By 2017, Farley said Marion County is supposed to be able to offer a Pre-K slot to every 4-year-old in the county. He said there are enough preschools, child day cares and Head Start facilities currently running to serve every child in the county, with more than 20 sites in operation.

“We all collaborate to serve the Pre-K,” Farley said.

Every year Marion County preschools, day cares and Head Start facilities are enrolling more children, according to Farley.

By adding a preschool in Barrackville, Farley said a lot of parents have shown interest in the school in that area. He said there wasn’t a preschool in Barrackville before.

Farley said the state fire marshal also approved the classroom for a preschool to be put in Barrackville.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

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