Building updated as part of 2016 bond passed by voters
Redmond, Wash. – Staff cheered Monday, September 14, as the first preschool student walked confidently into the Early Learning Center at Old Redmond Schoolhouse. It is the first time in more than 20 years that Lake Washington School District (LWSD) has held classes in the building.
After a remodel, approved by voters in 2016, the 98-year-old building now serves as one of LWSD’s Early Learning Centers. Remodeled spaces include 10 preschool classrooms, therapy spaces, the Child Find office, a family resource library and family meeting space. Most special needs preschool students are attending class in-person, though some are starting the year remotely.
Even children who were, at first, hesitant to leave their parents behind were soon playing happily with new blocks, toy cars, pretend kitchens and puzzles. Teachers prepared visual schedules and illustrations to help students anticipate the next activity.
Near the main entrance, a community-centered area will provide resources for families. There is also a community room where teachers can meet with families. Occupational therapy spaces provide colorful and tactile objects for students to improve motor skills.
The district’s Child Find office has also moved to the Early Learning Center at Old Redmond Schoolhouse. Parents who suspect their preschool aged student may have a disability should contact the Child Find program for an evaluation.
Classrooms are divided by a shared area with bathrooms and generous space for art and sensory-play activities. There are also smaller breakout spaces where students can receive one-on-one support from specialists, such as speech or occupational therapists.
Students in LWSD’s inclusive preschool program attend class four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) at six schools across the district in addition to Old Redmond Schoolhouse Early Learning Center. There is both a morning session and an afternoon session. In addition to this program, the Early Learning Center has students in Head Start preschool and SNAPS preschool. SNAPS preschool is designed to meet the needs of students with autism and their families. Head Start is a federally funded preschool program that is free for eligible families.
“A sincere thank you to the Lake Washington School District community for supporting this vision,” said Director of Early Learning Kim Brenner. “Having a dedicated space designed with early learning in mind ensures that our youngest, and often most vulnerable students, have access to the space, materials and equipment they need during their most formative years.”
The district is partnering with the City of Redmond to lease part of the building that isn’t being used for the preschool program for community recreation programing. These spaces include the gymnasium, clay studio and two flexible spaces.
Learn more about LWSD’s preschool programs on our website.
About Lake Washington: Lake Washington School District is a high-performing public school district serving Kirkland Redmond and Sammamish Washington. It is the second largest district in the state of Washington with over 31,000 students in 56 schools.