Peoria Unified opens new early childhood learning center - AZEdNews
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Peoria Unified opens new early childhood learning center


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  • Kerri Staack/ Peoria Unified School District

Peoria Unified’s Community Preschool Program Serves The Community's Youngest Learners. Photo Courtesy Peoria Unified School District

The Peoria Unified School District has partnered with Glendale Community College to open its newest Early Childhood Learning Center.

A celebration and guided tour will take place from 9 a.m.- 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 12 at Glendale Community College’s campus and the first toddler enrolled in the program will cut the ribbon during the event.

This partnership provides Peoria Unified’s Community Preschool program an opportunity to serve our youngest learners in a brand-new way.

“This is a great collaboration that will support GCC students, young children and families within our school district,” said Dr. Debbie Pischke, director of Peoria ECCEL Preschool Program.

In addition to providing a quality program for children, this partnership allows students enrolled in Glendale Community College’s Early Childhood Program to observe and intern in classrooms under the direction of a certified teacher.

This program is also expected to support the teaching pipeline. The district will have an opportunity to hire outstanding employees from the program upon graduation, knowing that they have experience in a quality early childhood program.

This is a lab school which means there are microphones and cameras in the room for educational purposes.  The classroom has a large two-way window so students can observe real-time instruction. 

“This is a great collaboration that will help support and teach students who are pursuing careers in Early Childhood Education. It gives GCC students from many instructional areas the opportunity to observe, teach and implement lesson activities while preparing them for entry into the workforce,”  said Judy Basham, director of the early childhood education program at Glendale Community College.

Starting last August, Peoria Unified and Glendale Community College began the partnership process, which was formalized in March 2019.

Peoria Unified School District is nestled in the Northwest Valley of Peoria, Arizona and is home to 42 stellar public schools that are unique and created to fit the needs of all students.

Peoria Unified is the choice district for more than 37,000 students and 4,000 staff, serving as one of the largest employers in the West Valley and one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona.

The district has signature programs spread out between 34 kindergarten through eighth-grade elementary schools and eight high schools that excel in academics, arts, athletics and Career and Technical Education programs.

The Strategic Plan outlines a laser focus on four key areas: Student Success, Safety and Well-Being, Stewardship of Community Resources and Community Connection.

Above all, Peoria Unified is committed to transparency, parent involvement and ensuring that “Every Student, Every Day is Prepared to Shape Tomorrow.”