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Early Childhood Education program opens 11 new preschool classrooms

New bookshelf corner in classroom San Juan Unified’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program has seen a lot of growth this summer, thanks to extra funding from a new grant and from Sacramento County. Eleven new full-day preschool classrooms opened in late August across the district.

Due to recent budget cuts at Sacramento City Unified School District, San Juan Unified was able to receive redistributed funding through the County for additional preschool spots in San Juan Unified. This allowed the conversion of many of the district’s current part-day programs into full-day programs.

The district is now able to serve 486 children who were once in a part-day class for a full day as a result of the program expansion. 

“In addition to the full day for students and families, this has also increased quality of services by reducing staff to student ratios,” said Jim Walters, ECE program manager. “This creates more individualized learning opportunities for our preschoolers.”

The new classrooms feature brand new furniture and the district has been able to hire 66 new ECE staff members to support early learning.

“I’ve been a preschool teacher for 22 years and I’ve never had a class with all the items and furniture brand new, so I was extremely excited to have that,” said Suha Brown, a preschool teacher at General Davie Primary Center. 

Newly added classrooms span the district - six new classrooms at General Davie Primary Center and one classroom each at Skycrest Elementary, Kingswood K-8, Encina Preparatory High School, Ralph Richardson Center and Garfield Ave. 

Currently, San Juan Unified’s ECE program serves more than 2,000 students each year. To learn more, visit www.sanjuan.edu/ECE.

Watch the video below to see students on the first day of preschool: