North Christian opens transitional school

PARKERSBURG – For children who have completed preschool but are not ready for the kindergarten, an option for the transition has opened in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

A transitional kindergarten opened last week at North Christian School.

The transitional kindergarten focuses on children who have late summer or early fall birthdays and who don’t have the social skills required for regular kindergarten, said Darlene Murphy, director of the North Christian pre-school.

The class will be a blend of the social development skills in pre-kindergarten and the academic skills in kindergarten, Principal Susan Naylor said.

Transitional kindergarten provides children with the gift of time, said transitional kindergarten teacher Cheryl Carnes.

“This program allows students to work toward kindergarten readiness,” said Carnes.

Ten students are enrolled and the program is limited to 12 for the year, said Naylor.

The transitional kindergarten will feature a Christian-centered curriculum, also using elements of the standardized A Beka curriculum, Carnes said. The transitional kindergarten meets pre-kindergarten and kindergarten standards for the state, Murphy said.

The classroom curriculum was determined by comparing the West Virginia standards for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten, then finding a middle ground, Murphy said.

North Christian School is only the second school in West Virginia to offer transitional kindergarten, with the other being a school in Wheeling, Naylor said.

Jen Francisco, mother of Andrew Francisco, 5, said the opportunity would give her son a chance to adjust to a more-structured day.

Dana Morr chose the transitional approach for her son, Levi Morr, 4, because he has a late summer birthday and she approves of the Christian-based curriculum.

North Christian School offers education from the transitional kindergarten to the seventh grade, Naylor said. Next year, the school plans to add eighth grade to its offerings, she said.

Tuition for a non-kindergarten student is $3,500 a year with discounts offered for additional children enrolled from the same family, Naylor said. Financial assistance is available, she said.