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Early Childhood

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

KINDERGARTEN: 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  will register for the 2019/20 school year through Online Registration.  After registering online, kindergarten students will still have to finish the process at the school.

PRESCHOOL: Our preschool programs offer a variety of options from half days to full days, Tuesdays through Fridays. We welcome all children, but we do give priority to children who are four years old by September 1st and who live within the school attendance area. Tuition for a full day program is $420 per month, and a half day program is $210 per month. Tuition assistance is available through the Colorado Preschool Program.
There may be slots open in a preschool class as families' needs change throughout the school year. To indicate your interest in a preschool slot, please complete the Preschool Interest Form for the 2018-19 school year that is listed under Important Documents. You may complete the form and email it to Libby Culver at lculver@durangoschools.org.  Parents of 4-year-old children still have priority, and 3-year-old children will be placed on a waiting list and if there is space available will be called in order of their birthdays.
No waiting list is currently being held for classes beyond the 2018-19 school year.
Registration for the 2019-20 school year will begin in April, 2019. The dates for each school's preschool and kindergarten registration is:
Tuesday, April 9th:             Animas Valley Elementary School
Wednesday, April 10th:     Park Elementary School
Thursday, April 11th:         Florida Mesa Elementary School
Monday, April 15th:           Needham Elementary School
Thursday, April 18th:         Riverview Elementary School
Friday, April 19th:              Fort Lewis Mesa Elementary School
Monday, April 22nd:          Sunnyside Elementary School
Please bring your child's birth certificate, immunization information, and proof of residency (i.e., utility bill) to registration.
For further information please contact Libby Culver, Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs at lculver@durangoschools.org or by calling 970-247-5411 ext. 1468.