No preschoolers in the preschool


Katelyn Moore

Empty cubbies in the preschool room

KATELYN MOORE, Staff Writer, Editor

For over 30 years, the preschool at GHS has been a program in which high school students can learn to teach and work with children. This year, however, the preschool is not operating due to lack of early childhood education certification.

“The program was temporarily discontinued so that we could get certification and approvals at the state level,” said GHS principal Erik Anderson, “so that we can operate in a sanctioned and approved program.”

According to Anderson, the preschool program is coming back to GHS next year. Preschoolers who were signed up for the program at the beginning of the school year were dispersed to other preschools, such as the Gloucester Preschool at Blackburn Industrial park.

“With childcare,” said Anderson, “once you find something that works you don’t want to change it. We will open our doors back to prior students.”

Child study program leader and teacher Albina Papows has had to adapt to the change. GHS students in the program now work with children all over the city, especially at the Gloucester Preschool. Along with this, a few students go to East Gloucester Elementary School.

“With the preschool not being here on site,” said Papows, “it’s been very different and difficult to teach the concepts that are needed to be a preschool teacher. Students that are child study aides are not getting experience with any children at all.”

Child study aides are sophomores who help older students teach lessons to the children. However, since the children are no longer on site, these students can no longer work hands-on with children. Some of the aides work with the students in the Life Skills Program.

According to Papows, it’s been hard to send her students to schools around the city throughout the school day.

“The GHS schedule is not conducive to go there [off-site elementary and preschools],” said Papows. “They’re lucky if they get to go two days a week.”

Although this year has been the first in 30 years that there hasn’t been an on-site preschool, Papows and her students are anticipating the return.

“We are all hoping that it will come back,” said Papows.