REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s Early Learning Center (RELC) is preparing to graduate its first class of kindergartners, next month, as it wraps up its first year. RELC houses classrooms for hundreds of five and six-year olds, and Superintendent Mike McIntosh says there has been a learning curve everyone. "What happens inside the four walls of the classroom looks a lot like it always has; just, there’s another one next door, and another one next door to that. What we found to be interesting were the extra things, and the little things behind the scenes. It took us a little while to figure out transportation; getting a whole lot of parents in and out of the parking lot, both before and after school, matching them up with the right kid. ‘No child left behind’ was our theme there for a little while."
The facility opened at the Hugh Hartman Campus, last fall, and is the first of its kind in the region. McIntosh tells KBND News it was necessary to accommodate the growth in enrollment without being forced to build a new school. "Right now, there’s 400 five-year-olds there finishing up their first year, and then they’re going to go on to an elementary school. All of the in-town schools, that’s their kindergarten space. It’s fun to have that all in one location when everyone gets the same treatment." Incoming kindergartners within the boundaries for John Tuck, Lynch, Sage, Tom McCall and Vern Patrick elementaries are invited to a registration event at RELC on Thursday, May 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Another event is scheduled for August. Click HERE for details, and to download a registration form.
Superintendent McIntosh says the only schools in the district that still have their own kindergarten classes are Tumalo and Terrebonne, which are are K-8 community schools. "Those community schools have kind of a different focus from the beginning of time, but that combination has worked well. But, the in-town schools, their default school is the Early Learning Center, and I think that has also worked well." Registration for incoming Terrebonne and Tumalo kindergartners is ongoing and is done in-person at those schools. Click HERE for more information on both the RELC and Tumalo and Terrebonne registration events.