Soroco preschool earns impressive state ranking |

Soroco preschool earns impressive state ranking

Soroco Preschool at Yampa is located at 26 W. Fifth St. in downtown Yampa.

— The Soroco Preschool at Yampa has been recognized by the Colorado Department of Education as a level 4 of 5 childcare facility under the new Colorado Shines rating system.

Implemented through the past three years, the rating and improvement system scores licensed childcare providers based on levels of staff training, family engagement, leadership and management and child health promotion, among other factors.

Currently, fewer than 700 of the state’s 4,500 licensed programs have earned a ranking of 3, 4 or 5, putting Soroco Preschool at Yampa in at least the top 15 percent of programs, statewide.

“We are all very pleased,” Preschool Director Tamara Bereznak told the South Routt Board of Education earlier this week.

The South Routt School District took over operation of the Yampa preschool during summer 2015, after previously contracting with the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services to operate a program using a portion of the building, located at 26 W. Fifth St.

The preschool program was first evaluated by Colorado Shines in January, earning a level-2 designation. Staff then pursued a re-evaluation in May, earning the higher designation.

According to the Colorado Shines database, Steamboat Springs’ Discovery Learning Center is also ranked a level-4 facility, and about 10 other facilities in Routt County are ranked at level 2.

The rating system program was funded and established in 2013, so many childcare facilities have yet to be rated under the system.

According to Colorado Shines, programs with ratings of 3, 4 or 5 have strong classroom instruction, staff training and family engagement to support children’s success.

“To go from a vision the board had … to get to this stage is phenomenal,” said South Routt Board of Education President Jules Palyo earlier this week.

Board members have agreed to subsidize the two-classroom program as its becomes established, believing that offering services to South Routt area students as early as preschool will help maintain district’s K-12 enrollment levels in the future.

The preschool operates Monday through Thursday during the summer and is currently accepting applications for students interested in enrolling this fall.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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