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Early Childhood Programs



As we navigate the latest surge in COVID-19, we encourage 9-R families and staff to continue to support efforts to keep one another safe and healthy. Your kindness, patience, and concern for your fellow students, staff, and families help us achieve our common goal to keep schools open and students learning. While quarantines have changed for school-based settings CDPHE recommends that preschool settings maintain a 10-day quarantine and/or isolate for the following reasons: Students are unable to maintain proper mask-wearing and the amount of time during the day that requires students to be unmasked (meal times and nap) exceeds 15 minutes. If a student is positive with COVID-19 they must complete a 10-day isolation. This practice is necessary due to the lack of proper and well-fitting mask-wearing with younger children.


Please continue to keep your child home if they are sick or have a known recent exposure to a positive individual that occurred within 6 feet and for more than 15 minutes. It is important to keep your child home, test them on day 5 and continue to monitor for symptoms for the 10-day quarantine.


Testing: Please test if you are experiencing minor symptoms. Covid-19 Test Information

Vaccines/Boosters: Vaccinations and boosters are widely available in the community. Vaccinations are available for ages five and up. Information is available on the SJBPH website.


Exemptions from Quarantine: Quarantine guidelines apply to people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

The newest guidelines provide the following exemptions from quarantine:

  • 5-17 years old and has completed primary COVID-19 vaccine series (2 weeks after second vaccine dose or third if immunocompromised) within the last six months
  • Viral test-confirmed infection in past 90 days
  • Protected via well-fitted mask-wearing by the ill and exposed persons 
  • Participating in weekly screening testing and will continue to participate for at least 2 additional weeks


With your support of these efforts, we look forward to continuing a successful, in-person school year for our students. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to Jennifer Baufield, Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs at 970 247-5411 ext. 1468 or jbaufield@durangoschools.org.

Welcome! We are committed to providing the highest quality early childhood education with the goal of ensuring that each student has the developmental and learning foundations necessary for long-term success. Each of our elementary schools includes at least one preschool classroom and one kindergarten classroom.

In both preschool and kindergarten, we support child readiness in numerous ways, including:
  • Program staff who build nurturing, supportive relationships with children and their families
  • Well-planned classroom environments and routines that encourage active engagement and independence
  • Activities that support learning and development in all domains
  • Learning opportunities that encourage exploration, experimentation, critical thinking and problem solving
  • Ongoing assessment of child progress
  • Individualized instructional planning

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Preschool Registration Interest Forms are being accepted at this time.  Please fill out a preschool interest form if you are interested in attending one of our programs. The early childhood coordinator will be in contact with you to follow up regarding program availability. At this time our programs are full. Children who are 4 years old by September 1st have priority, and 3-year-old children will be placed on a waiting list. If there is space available those children will be called in order of their birthdays. Our program does not carry our waitlist over from year to year and will open registration for the next school year in March.
Our programs serve preschoolers with a capacity of 16 children per classroom. Each elementary school has at least one full school day preschool classroom, and Needham Elementary also has a half-day program. All preschool classes meet on Tuesdays through Fridays.  We welcome all children, but we do give priority to children who are four years old by September 1st and live in the school attendance area. Tuition for the full school day program is $560 per month, and it is $280 per month for the half-day program. Tuition assistance is available through the Colorado Preschool Program. Please fill out an application if you are interested. The early childhood coordinator will be in contact regarding acceptance. 
For further information please contact Jennifer Baufield, Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs at preschool@durangoschools.org or by calling 970-247-5411 ext. 1468.
Our kindergarten programs are full day classes and follow the school district calendar. Children are eligible for kindergarten if they are 5 years old on or before September 1st. All kindergarten classes are free. If you want your kindergarten child to attend a school outside your attendance area, please follow the Open Enrollment process.
New kindergarten students need to register for the 2021-22 school year through Online Registration.  After registering online, kindergarten students will still need to finish the process at the school when our schools open to the public.