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Preschool Classrooms Benefit from Highly Credentialed Teachers

Quality early education preschool classrooms in the Caldwell County Schools are meeting children’s social and emotional development through teacher certification and training in the North Carolina Pre-school Pyramid Model (PPM). Nearly half the preschool classrooms in the school district have met and/or maintained requirements to be certified PPM classrooms and another four classrooms are in the coaching process.

 “They are meeting not only the pre-academic needs of our students but also supporting the social-emotional and mental health wellness that helps prepare children for kindergarten and also begins building skills they will use throughout their lives to benefit our community,” said Preschool Director and PPM Coach Vickie Sproul. 

Under this program teachers and assistants complete 21 hours of training followed by direct, in-class coaching for one or more years.  While time intensive, teachers who complete the process overwhelmingly praise the program for helping them with better classroom management and social-emotional knowledge, which has improved outcomes for their students.

“It gives them (students) a sense of community in the classroom so that they know that they’re safe and they’re loved and that no matter what’s going on, the teachers are going to be there for them,” said Dudley Shoals Elementary preschool teacher assistant Kimberly Hedrick.

Classrooms teachers and assistants that achieved certification this year are Baton Elementary, Keesha Houston and Jennifer Parham; Davenport A+ Tiffanie Bell and Carolina Jarquin; Dudley Shoals Elementary, Nadia Beam, Kristy Price and assistants Kimberly Hedrick and Jennifer Russell; Gamewell Elementary, Christy Smith and Shannon Franklin; Granite Falls Elementary, Donna Bumgarner and assistants Kristi McDaris and Kelly Dellinger; Hudson Elementary, Laura Pace and assistants Wendy McClure and Kristen Poarch; Kings Creek, Rebecca Hefner and Rachel Collins; and Whitnel Elementary, Sherry Pendergrass and Areisha Carlton and Brittney Frazier, assistants. PPM classrooms must undergo an annual assessment to recertify.

Caldwell County Schools’ preschool program is in its sixth year of participation in the NC Preschool Pyramid Model (PPM) project, an evidence-based program that promotes children’s social skills and prevents challenging behaviors.