Two Anoka-Hennepin early childhood programs receive top rating from state

The Anoka-Hennepin School Readiness Preschool (SRP) and Kindergarten Readiness

Preschool (KRP) programs have earned the “Parent Aware FOUR STAR Rating” – out of a possible four stars – for high quality early learning and kindergarten readiness programs.

The State of Minnesota adopted the Parent Aware program to help parents know what to ask and what to look for in early childhood programs. In addition to many groups that support early learning, Parent Aware is backed by a broad coalition of business leaders, a bipartisan group of state legislators, Gov. Mark Dayton and many of Minnesota’s foundations. The rating measures best practices identified by research that help children succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

Marilee Christensen-Adams, assistant manager of Community Education, said this is the first time the application to apply for a rating has been available. Anoka-Hennepin received the high rating for its qualified, trained staff and curriculum and assessments. Christensen-Adams likes that the programs have caring, smart and enthusiastic teachers and the support of parents.

“When you have parents and teachers working together, amazing things happen for the children,” she said. The programs have about 55 staff. Twenty additional early childhood special education staff support students with special needs. The programs serve 1,400 students total.

There are 14 SRP sites throughout the district. The program serves children ages three to five. SRP charges a fee, but also offers a sliding fee scale based on the free and reduced price lunch guidelines. It is offered during the school year with a summer program available.

Beginning this year, there are eight KRP sites throughout the district. Serving children ages four and five, there is no fee for the program, but children must qualify for free or reduced lunch prices. It is only offered during the school year.

For information about these high-quality programs, contact the SRP and KRP office at 763-506-1500.