Hampton Journalism

Angie Arndt - Elementary Principal & Special Education Director

In late March, the Nebraska Department of Education Early Childhood Department made a visit to Hampton. The reason for the visit was to measure the overall quality of our preschool program. The reviewer spent the morning observing in the preschool classroom and evaluating the following areas using the evaluation tool The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale® (ECERS-3):

  • Space and Furnishing
  • Person Care Routines
  • Language and Literacy
  • Learning Activities
  • Interactions
  • Program Structure

Each of the above-mentioned sections can receive a score of 1(inadequate), 3 (minimal), 5 (Good), and 7 (Excellent). Our program scored 5 or higher in the areas of Space and Furnishing, Language and Literacy, Learning Activities, Interaction, and Program Structure.

After taking some time to review our scores, I’d like to share what we’ve learned and celebrate the hard work of our preschool team. The following list of celebrations was taken directly from the comment section of the rating scale:

  • Teachers are positive with students as they are asked to complete tasks.
  • Teachers often expand on children’s ideas to include new information and to develop vocabulary.

  • There are many examples of teachers providing individualized teaching during free-plan times. 

  • Student supervision is high at all times - this includes outside play, while using the bathroom, and during free play.

  • There is space for many interest centers and the classroom space is well-maintained.

  • Teachers encourage students to communicate with each other.

  • Children have access to gross motor materials outside, including balance steppers, slides, climbing structures, and a variety of balls.

  • Teachers sit near children as they eat and there are many positive conversations.  The atmosphere is relaxed and pleasant.

  • Many positive interactions were observed between teachers and students throughout the entire morning observation

  • Teachers are role models for good social skills and speak kindly to all in the classroom.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for making our preschool program a priority so many years ago. Research states that attending preschool gives young children a leg up on all kinds of learning, not just academics but social skills, listening, planning, and self-control. We are truly blessed to provide a free preschool program to all families in our district as it allows us to begin making connections with students and their families.

In closing, I would like to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to Shelby Kohtz and Jessica Rojewski. Over the last several years these two ladies have built an incredible preschool program. They provide excellent educational opportunities by not only teaching academic skills but helping children develop independence and a love for school. I am so thankful they chose to start working in Hampton. We are blessed to have them on staff working with our youngest Hawks!