March 14, 2020
Dear Cullowhee Kids Families and staff,
It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing to you this morning regarding a difficult decision that has been reached by our board of directors and staff for Cullowhee Kids Preschool.
Over the past weekend, our staff, church leadership, and the Preschool board of directors have been in constant communication regarding the decision of closure of the preschool due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the community.
Late this past week, Cullowhee United Methodist Church made the decision to halt all church services, groups and activities for 2 weeks upon the recommendation of our Bishop. This put the preschool in a difficult situation, as we follow Jackson County Public School with regards to closures and delays and the general calendar. In this instance, JCPS has made a decision to not close schools, but also not penalize students who opt to stay home due to recent travel and/or health concerns. It is our belief that it would be unwise for us to operate our preschool in a closed facility, on the campus of a university that is closed as well. Therefore, we have decided to not re-open the preschool on March 16th.
We KNOW that this will be very difficult for our families and we have truly struggled with this decision. My hope is that we can all work together during this unprecedented situation to maintain routines and normalcy for our young children.
I am here to help you in any way I can. Please reach out to me and I will do my best to assist you. Our staff and board will be addressing your concerns and we will do all that we can to make the best of this challenging situation. We will also be working on the financials to relieve some of the financial burden that this will place on our families.
Thank you for your understanding.
Cullowhee Kids Preschool began the fall of 1995 with one classroom of children meeting twice a week for half a day with Sandy Railsback as the head teacher and Director in a room upstairs in the Education Wing of the church. Each subsequent year, the program expanded to accommodate the growing enrollment. Teachers came and went, but Sandy Railsback is still with the program. A big leap was made in 2010 with the completion of the church’s building project. The preschool was moved downstairs in the new preschool wing as a state certified preschool program meeting 5 days a week for a full school day with before and after-care available.
Over the years with tweaks, improvements and teacher preferences, the teacher developed Christian based curriculum is very rich in activities, resources and learning experiences for the children. Weekly themes are developed for the year based on seasonal events, local culture, holidays and what is just plain fun.