Starting small: Hudson adds PreK program to the district

by Abby Gaudian

This year, Hudson Elementary became a PreK-6 school.  

The school district thought it was time to add a preschool program. In past years, the private preschool, Humpty Dumpty, rented out space from the school, but Hudson had no direct affiliation with the program.

A voluntary public preschool program has been in place in Iowa since 2007, but Hudson hadn’t participated in the program until this year. Before this year, the district had been sending a bus of kids to Evansdale for preschool. This, and an increased focus on literacy standards in elementary school, inspired the administration to add preschool to the Hudson School District.

Sarah Cartney, Hudson Class of 2010 graduate, was hired to direct the preschool. Cartney was not new to the district nor the profession. She taught kindergarten the previous year at Hudson. Special Education Para-Associate Sarah Byerly and General Para-Associate Autumn Parrino were hired as Cartney’s assistants. The preschool is made up of three and four-year-olds, 19 students in the morning session and 13 in the afternoon. 

To prepare for the preschool year to start, Cartney went and observed other preschools in surrounding communities. She also learned about the Creative Curriculum for Preschool, “curriculum that uses discovery and creativity to develop children’s creativity and critical thinking.”

Cartney has spent a lot of time in preparation for the program. “She has made our room so preschool friendly and has done such a good job making sure we have all of the materials needed for the kids to learn and play,” said Parrino.

Community members also were key in kicking off this new program, donating books, toys, and games to give the preschool what they needed to begin. In addition, the school district purchased a 14-passenger bus.

“The school district has been great support,” said Cartney.“We were able to purchase quite a bit of materials and furniture to make a wonderful preschool room.”