Opening day for the Cardinals has nothing on opening day at Ladue Early Childhood Center.
Based on the reactions by teachers, parents and students, the new facility is a hit.
“I couldn’t ask for anything better. I really can’t find a single thing to complain about; it’s amazing,” Nicole Bruce, early childhood special education teacher, said.
Bruce has already seen what a difference the new building is making in the lives of her students.
“I think the kids are extremely excited to come to school now which is amazing. We haven’t had any separation anxiety between leaving parents and coming here. We always get tears when they say goodbye however now we’re getting tears when leaving because they want to stay.”
Jen Corcoran, a speech pathologist, said that it’s wonderful to have a space that offers everything that kids need. James Faron, father of four-year-old student Lilah, echoed Corcoran’s sentiments.
“We’re very impressed. This center is thorough and covers all of the bases. There were three things involved in our decision to send Lilah here: location, the facility, and the schedule of classes that are offered to her.”
So far the toughest critics, the students, said their favorite parts of the new school included going to the gym, playing with the animals and going to the music classroom. Five-year-old Audrey said her favorite part was being the bag holder. Lilah liked reading a book about dogs.
Aside from the novelty of the new building, there are many features and programs that are designed to keep children engaged and learning including the school district’s partnership with Special School District. With integrated classes Bruce said that both the children who have disabilities and their typically-developing peers love the new facility and like learning from each other.
The teachers are very pleased with the new features in the building, especially the storage spaces and classrooms.
“The kids seemed really comfortable in here today and they didn’t have any trouble finding things to engage in,” teacher Sheila Barge said. “No one was wandering around who couldn’t figure out what to do.”
Bruce said that teachers were involved in some of the decision-making when designing the building to make the classrooms functional.
“If the kids are motivated to learn they’re easier to teach and they’re very motivated to learn right now,” Bruce said.
The Ladue School District will host an Open House and Dedication on October 14, 2011.