Beatrice Community Preschool is already seeing an increase in enrollment for next school year.
As of Monday, 198 children are enrolled in the preschool. This time last year, enrollment was at 182.
“We’re looking really, really, really good right now,” Missy Timmerman, the preschool director, said. “We have to save spots for the special education kids, we have to save spots for Head Start kids. We could fill our preschool up today and have a wait list.”
During the Beatrice Public Schools Board of Education meeting Monday night, Timmerman said more than half of the students enrolled will be new to the district, meaning they don’t have siblings that are in school.
Timmerman also mentioned that 27 students will be involved in an Individualized Education Program, which is a 96 percent increase from this year.
“That’s what we’re going to see in the next few years, is our severity of special education,” Timmerman said. “Not behavior, but big medical needs are coming up, so how is that going to affect our preschool?”
Timmerman said this is the first year the preschool has had to handle a big medical need, and only with one student. She said the preschool will have to look into how to handle medical needs on a larger scale.
As for current preschool students, Timmerman said 8 to 10 are not attending kindergarten in Beatrice for the 2019-2020 school year. Timmerman said this is due to families moving out of the district, going to private schools or the parents don’t think their children are ready to start elementary school yet.
“I think our preschool has done a great job getting families and maintaining families in our school system," Timmerman said.