Sidney City Schools to hold preschool informational meeting

SIDNEY – Sidney City Schools is offering preschool to children ages 3-5 at Whittier Early Childhood Center for the 2019-20 school year. Preschool registration for the 2019-20 school year is now open. On Tuesday, May 7, an informational meeting for families interested in learning more about the preschool will be held at the Amos Memorial Library beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the community room.

“We know there are some parents who still have questions about our new preschool and want to gain more information before registering,” said Whittier Early Childhood Center Principal Keith Helmlinger, “So we’re holding a meeting to help address those.”

With Helmlinger will be Student Services Coordinator Beth Abbott. Abbott has served as a multiple-disabilities and special education teacher for 12 years with Sidney City Schools and has recently assumed the role as student services coordinator for the district, serving all students with special needs but especially working with families of those in preschool.

“I hope to be able to address any questions families of children with special needs may have,” said Abbott. “If they’ve been at Shelby Hills previously or if they’re coming into preschool for the first time, I understand how parents, especially those whose children need extra support, want to make sure their child is going to be in the most enriching environment and be cared for.”

Information will also be available for the YMCA Childcare Center, Wilma Valentine Childcare, and Kiddieland. Sidney City Schools is working with these organizations to provide transportation for children being cared for in these facilities to attend preschool at Whittier.

“We’ve heard from some in the community that they would love to send their child to Whittier for preschool but they are in childcare at area centers and with their jobs and schedules they would be unable to get them there,” said Helmlinger. “Our administrative group sat down and decided that we needed to offer transportation from these facilities to our school and back.”

For the 2019-20 school year, this service is free to families who are utilizing those childcare centers.

Whittier Early Childhood Center has the potential to educate approximately 175 typically developing peer children on top of the 125 children on IEPs expected.

Preschool day

Sidney City Schools preschool at Whittier Early Childhood Center runs a morning and afternoon session Monday through Thursday and follows the district calendar for conferences, breaks and holidays, with the morning session going from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and the afternoon session going from 1 to 3:45 p.m.


The philosophy of the program emphasizes developmentally-appropriate activities. The preschool has adopted the Creative Curriculum. The Creative Curriculum for Preschool is a comprehensive, research-based curriculum that features exploration and discovery as a way of learning. Through hands-on, project-based investigations, teachers will build children’s confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills, and promote positive outcomes.

Within this context, children with disabilities receive play-based, individualized, developmentally appropriate interventions, including child- and teacher-directed activities.


The school district is welcoming children 3-5 years of age, while offering a range of services free to children with a qualifying disability. Typically developing peers serve as models for appropriate behavior, social skills, and language/communication skills. Therefore, typically developing children (peer models) are enrolled on a tuition basis and must be toilet trained.

Full-pay tuition is $125 per month. There is a sliding scale for families based on size of family and income level. The tuition sliding scale chart can be found on the school’s website under Preschool at Whittier Childhood Center.


Children ages 3-5 living in the Sidney City School district who are determined eligible for special education services receive preschool free of charge. Typically developing peers (peer models) are welcome to attend preschool on a tuition basis with residency within the district not required.

Openings are limited and acceptance of typically developing children will be on a first come, first served basis with completed online registration, proper documentation, and paid registration fee.


Every child attending preschool must complete our online registration using Final Forms Within two weeks of completion of online registration, please bring the following pieces of information to Central Registration at the Board of Education Office at 750 S Fourth Avenue, Sidney.

• Child’s birth certificate

• Proof of residency – mortgage, lease/rental agreement, phone/water/utility bill, pay stub

• Proof of custody (as applicable)

• Proof of income (for income levels A-E) – pay stub, tax documents, award letters, child support received/paid

Registration fee: All typically developing children who take part in the preschool program will be asked to pay a registration fee of $25. Registration will be marked complete when forms online are fully submitted, required documentation is provided, and the registration fee is paid.

Medical and dental statements

Prior to the first day of school, every child must provide their immunization record and medical/dental statements. Immunizations must be up to date in accordance with state guidelines. Medical and dental statements must be signed by a doctor.

More information on Sidney City Schools Preschool at Whittier Early Childhood Center can be found at

Screening dates

If a parent or guardian believes their preschool might have special needs, they are encouraged to take part in our preschool screenings. The school district will hold the first one on May 29, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Connection Point Church at 1510 Campbell Road. A second screening will be held in August with date, time, and location to be determined. To schedule a screening time for your current or future preschool child, call Abbott or Lola Fair at 937-497-2200.