• Kettle moraine School District 4K

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    WHAT IS 4K FOREST AT KM?

    Outdoor learning, forest school, and nature-based education are all terms describing an educational philosophy grounded in meaningful connection to the outdoor world around us. KM’s nature-based, pre-school program will be designed with a focus on inquiry, hands-on experiences, and play-based learning. The environment will be an integral learning tool.

    During KM’s 4K application period, we garnered enough family interest in Forest 4K to start the program at Magee Elementary for the 2022-23 school year. An information night will be held for families in the spring.

    Magee has a long history of focusing on environmental education and has a beautiful property for outdoor learning. Situated in the heart of Genesee Depot on Hwy 83, Magee’s property consists of over 20 acres of land including fields, forests, gardens, and trails. There are over 10 outdoor classroom learning spaces already developed on the property including a greenhouse, butterfly garden, prairie, and vegetable garden. 

     

    WHAT ARE THE CORE ELEMENTS OF 4-YEAR-OLD KINDERGARTEN IN KM?

    Kettle Moraine School District’s 4-year-old kindergarten (4K) program strives to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning!  Providing this programming to our community is an integral way to connect our youngest learners and families to our school district and ready them for kindergarten. 

    KM’s play-based curriculum addresses: 

    • Social emotional development
    • Essential skills of problem solving
    • Emotion management
    • Self Awareness and empathy
    • Early language and literacy development
    • Numeracy 
    • Motor development

    The Forest 4K classroom will work through these same pillars with a focus and lens of accomplishing academic, social and emotional learning goals in a natural setting. 

     

    WILL FOREST 4K BE HELD IN THE MORNING OR AFTERNOON?

    We are planning to run Forest 4K at Magee Elementary in the afternoon. 

     

    WHAT IS THE STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO?

    Typically our KM 4K sites are staffed 17-20 students with two adults (one certified teacher and one para professional)

     

    WILL STUDENTS BE OUTSIDE THE ENTIRE TIME?

    There will be dedicated outside time daily with a purposeful focus, as well as recess/playtime. There will also be time inside daily.  For example, the day might start with some time inside (hanging backpack, attendance, storytime, academic mini lesson) followed by time outside (application of mini lesson, i.e. counting and sorting rocks, making shapes out of sticks, going on a nature color hunt). Forest 4K will follow the same guidelines elementary schools use for weather, which is no outdoor recess if the actual temperature or windchill is below zero. The time of year and season will help guide what experiences occur outside, how much time is spent outside and the best activities for indoors/outdoors. While Forest 4K won't go out in severe weather, students will go out in light/moderate rain to investigate. Part of school supplies will be a change of clothes and rain boots/rain jacket

    WHO WILL BE TEACHING FOREST 4K?

    Our Elementary Education Director, Laura Dahm, will help oversee the program, curriculum and experiences. In the spring, our district leaders come together to discuss staffing district wide,  ensuring KM is staffed for the positions we need, or posting the position to attract applicants for a new hire. We first gauge current staff interest in openings before soliciting external interest. We do not know who the teacher will be for Forest 4K right now, primarily because we are gauging interest from families to ensure there is interest to run the program. The teacher(s) in this program will participate in summer professional learning around outdoor education and environmental education.  

    WILL FOREST 4K STUDENTS DO THE SAME ASSESSMENTS AS TRADITIONAL 4K STUDENTS?

    Forest 4K will have the same district curriculum resources available to all our 4K sites (phonological awareness, literacy, numeracy, etc.).  Students will also participate in PALS early literacy assessments three times per year. 

    CAN A STUDENT WHO IS NOT IN THE KM DISTRICT APPLY FOR FOREST 4K?

    If you do not live in the KM school district, you can apply through the Wisconsin open enrollment process. When applying, indicate which location you’d like for 4K.  The OE window is open February 7 - April 29. Applicants are notified of placement in May.

    WHEN DO DISTRICT FAMILIES APPLY?

    District residents can apply January 25 through the end of March. Notification of placement is early-to-mid April. 

    If you need wrap care, please indicate that on your application.

    HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?

    Please email Laura Dahm, Director of Elementary Education, at dahml(AT)kmsd.edu.

    Is 4K wrap care available at Magee?

    Yes! Click here to learn more.