Region 16 condensing preschool sites  

REGION 16 — Region 16 will condense its preschool programs at Prospect Elementary School and Laurel Ledge Elementary School into one site next school year.

The programs will be housed at Prospect Elementary starting in the fall. The Region Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, supported the move during a special meeting last week.

The preschool programs are for 3- and 4-year-old students. Students identified as special education are guaranteed a spot while regular education students are selected through a lottery. The programs run for half the school day with morning and afternoon sessions.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said the consolidation is due to enrollment. He said there are six students in the program at Laurel Ledge and 19 at Prospect Elementary this school year. Next school year, he said, officials project there will between 19 and 25 total students.

Officials said there are also benefits to consolidating the programs at one site, including better grouping of students with appropriate peers, paraprofessional support can be more flexible with students’ needs, and Beacon Falls students can utilize increased support services at Prospect Elementary.

One preschool teacher position will be cut, Yamin said. The teacher is expected to be offered another position at Laurel Ledge, he said. The position is expected to be vacant due to a pending retirement.

Yamin said the elimination of the positon will save the district $72,000 in salary and benefits, but it’s expected to equal out in the budget with other potential staff changes in the works.

Yamin said the move will not have any impact on busing.