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Setting the record straight

August 1, 2012
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

The 2010 VPK class was rated a 69. I was short by one point that year. VPK is based on attendance, which means the children must attend in order to learn what is needed to start kindergarten ready. That year we had many children that were enrolled, but at the same time many children did not attend on a regular basis so they missed many hours of VPK class time and I did not withdraw them from the program because of the urgency of their parents. I continue to allow those children to attend hoping that the parents would see that their children needed to attend the VPK program so that they could be ready kindergarten.

VPK children have 540 hours of VPK instruction with a VPK provider. If you view my actual report you can see that many children that year only completed half that time. So once those children graduated the 2010 VPK school year in May 2011 they were done for the summer. Those same children had to wait 90 days to be tested for the Kindergarten Readiness test, so, of course, those children tested not ready for kindergarten given the fact they barely attend their VPK classes prior to starting kindergarten.

You need a 70 for the FLDOE VPK Readi-ness rate and since Creative Coast received a 69 for the 2010 class, the Early Learning Coalition and the FLDOE determined that my prior Readiness Rate scores and only falling short by one point for the 2010 class because of attendance, informed me that I can withdraw children from the VPK program when attendance is an issue and if I continue to allow the children to remain in the VPK session, those children will always test low on their Kindergarten Readiness Rate, therefore will bring my overall score down for the entire VPK class. So that is what I have been doing since that 2010 class graduated.

If Creative Coast Preschool was a true low performing center in regards to getting children ready for kindergarten, then the kindergarten teachers of Pine Island Elementary School would have informed the parents about how terrible our VPK program was and would have recommended to the parents not to have their children attend our VPK program. We would not have graduated 26 VPK children for the 2011-2012 class, we would not have 17 children enrolled in the 2012-2013 class and finally the Early Learning Coalition of Lee County and the Florida Department of Education would have pulled my VPK licensed. I wanted to clear up the information for my parents in regards to the letter from Megan Kynard.

Thank you,

Tina Riehm

Creative Coast Preschool owner



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