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Bigger price tag for preschool, pre-K next year

Tuition to increase at least 6 percent for all Lake Oswego School District pre-elementary programs


Everything about the Lake Oswego School District’s preschool and pre-kindergarten programs will stay the same next year — except for the price.

Wanting to avoid putting district coffers in even greater jeopardy, district administrators last week proposed a change in fee schedules for these two programs, and on Monday night, the school board approved fee increases for the 2013-14 school year.

In recent months, “the rumor got out that we were going to cancel. ... That’s not the case,” said Lake Oswego School Board Chairman John Wendland. “We were waiting to get, essentially, our preschool and pre-K programs cost-neutral.”

The preschool and pre-kindergarten programs both have annual nonrefundable registration fees. Currently set at $25, the fee will be raised to $50 next school year.

This year, preschool has been offered at Lake Grove Elementary School. Pre-kindergarten has been housed at Forest Hills, Hallinan, Lake Grove, Oak Creek and Westridge elementary schools.

Preschool

The LOSD preschool program, which is for children who will be 3 years old on or before Sept. 1, follows the LOSD calendar. Two sessions are offered for preschool — Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday — with class in session from 9:10 to 11:40 a.m.

Beginning in September, tuition for Monday/Wednesday/Friday preschool will be $235 monthly and $2,350 yearly, an increase of $145 or 6.57 percent over the present yearly tuition of $2,205. Tuition for Tuesday/Thursday preschool will be $165 monthly and $1,650 yearly, an increase of $120 or 7.84 percent over current tuition of $1,530.

Parent Molly Hubbs said she, like many other parents, paid to register her son for a spot in a private preschool, fearing that her first choice, preschool in LOSD, would not be available.

“I really want my son to get into it next year,” she said, but “other preschools already had their registration in January.”

Pre-kindergarten

The pre-kindergarten program is for children who will be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1. It also follows the LOSD calendar, with class in session on all regularly scheduled school days from 9:10 to 11:40 a.m.

While yearly tuition to the pre-kindergarten program is now set at $3,105, in 2013-14 it will increase to $3,300 ($330 monthly), a total increase of $195 or 6.28 percent.

“To have my daughter already be at the elementary school where she will continue on from kindergarten to first, second and third grade, that right there is worth a fee increase,” said parent Hayley Platt. “It’s the confidence that she’s gaining; it’s the familiarity with being at Westridge. All of that is so important. That transition from preschool to kindergarten is difficult, and this lessens the difficulty and the challenge to have her already there and familiar with the school.”

Board member Linda Brown agreed.

“One of the intangible values is going to a school that’s a public school to get to know the routine, what the school looked like, so the transition into kindergarten is very smooth,” she said.

“I have had my children enrolled in district pre-K in the past,” said parent Sarah Howell. “It is a great program that encourages early engagement in our school community.”

“If they need the program to be more cost-effective,” Platt said, “then $200 is worth it.”



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  • 1 Oct 2014

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  • 2 Oct 2014

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