Questions about Preschool in the Ravenswood Community

Parents, teachers, and community members have many questions about the future of the Child Development Center (CDC). We have tried to answer those questions below and will continue to update this information as we work out more details about the transition to a new preschool. 

 

Next School Year 

1. When will the preschool contracts with the children’s families end?

Families should retain their eligibility for preschool services for 24 months based upon their current certification and will not be required to requalify or go back onto a waiting list. Parents should refer to their Notice of Action (NOA) for their ‘service start date’ to determine the 24-month timeline. Preschool services will be transferred to the new program operator without a break in eligibility. Families will be able to transfer to the new classes at the CDC.

2. What is the last day RCSD will be in charge of the CDC?

The contract between the California Department of Education (CDE) and RCSD will end on June 30, 2018. On that day, the CDC will close. Should CDE redirect the contract funds to SMCOE, a vendor or vendors, not yet identified by SMCOE, will operate preschool classes at the CDC site.

3. Will the students in the CDC be given priority access?

Currently enrolled students will remain eligible for services, even though the provider will change.

4. How will the new preschool spaces be allocated?

Students who were enrolled in the CDC and their siblings will have first priority for spaces in the new classrooms.

5. What other preschool choices are there in our community?

We expect the children will continue to attend preschool at the Ravenswood facility once it reopens as a new preschool. However, if families choose not to keep their children at the CDC site, they can contact SMCOE and the Child Care Coordinating Council (San Mateo 4Cs) for information and referral to other preschool program options in the county.

6. We know that SMCOE has a direct relationship with a morning half-day class in the CDC. Will that program continue?

Yes, as long as there is sufficient need, the half-day class will remain an option for families.

 

Facilities 

1. Will RCSD lease the CDC property to the new operator?

If the California Department of Education (CDE) assigns RCSD’s State Preschool spaces to SMCOE, RCSD will work with SMCOE to develop a facility-use agreement. RCSD will not have a contract with the new operator; SMCOE will be responsible for that.

2. Since RSDC will no longer be in charge of the CDC, who owns the furniture and everything in the classrooms? Many of the materials were purchased through third-party grants obtained by teachers.

The facilities, furniture, and supplies are the property of the CDE under their contract with RCSD. CDE regulations determine what happens to the materials.

 

Care During the Summer Transition Period

1. Will parents need to find child care for part of the summer?

We cannot answer that yet. All parties are working very hard to minimize any disruption in services. However, it is possible that parents may need to find coverage for their children for up to six weeks this summer. When it opens, the new preschool program will be year-round and full-day.

2. What are our options if we need to find a preschool or childcare for a few weeks in the summer after the CDC closes and the new preschool opens?

Ms. Simien will work with each family, SMCOE, and the Child Care Coordinating Council (San Mateo 4Cs) to help parents find appropriate spaces for their children during the transition period.

3. Where will children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) attend preschool during the transition period?

Ms. Simien will work with each family, SMCOE, and San Mateo 4Cs to help parents find appropriate spaces for their children during the transition period.

4. Who is responsible for providing services and transportation as defined in the students’ IEPs during the transition period?

RCSD remains responsible for meeting the IEP needs of students who live in the District. Ms. Simien and other RCSD staff will help parents arrange these services.

5. How will the transition be handled for students with IEPs since change is especially difficult for them?

Ms. Simien and other RCSD staff will help parents and children prepare for this transition.

  

Staffing

1. Can you add to the contract with the new operator/s the requirement that they interview all current CDC staff before hiring new staff?

If the CDE assigns RCSD’s State Preschool spaces to SMCOE, then SMCOE will have the contract with the new operator. SMCOE does not make such conditions a part of any of its contracts. However, the new operator will be looking for employees, and current staff members would be encouraged to apply. Additionally, there is a critical shortage of early childhood teachers and staff across the region. Many programs have positions open and are recruiting.

2. Will staff who are employed by the new preschool operator remain part of the union?

No, they would be employees of the new preschool operator and would no longer be members of CSEA.

3. Will staff be eligible for healthcare benefits once the CDC closes?

Employees have the right to temporary continuation of employer-provided group health care coverage. However, they would be responsible for the share of the premium that RCSD currently pays. Current CDC staff should consult Human Resources to determine their status.

4. Do CDC staff have bumping rights?

Some members of the CDC staff may have bumping rights. This means they may “bump” into the job of another union member in the District who is less senior. The CDC staff member must have seniority and be qualified to fill the position.

5. What resources are available to help CDC employees prepare for life after the CDC?

The RCSD will arrange resume-writing classes for employees and provide information on unemployment benefits, healthcare options, and job search resources.