Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Colton-Uniontown school adds K-1 classroom

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the Feb. 25, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Lori Becker is both principal and Fifth Grade teacher at Colton-Uniontown’s Guardian Angel-St. Boniface Catholic School. She announced recently that the school will expand its program to include Kindergarten and Grade 1 beginning in September of this year. In other words, the school will have a full K – 8 academic program.

“The idea (of adding a fulltime Kindergarten class) has come up every few years,” Becker said. “We had no First Grade this year, so we won’t have a Second Grade next year due to low enrollment. (Currently, the school’s total enrollment is 26 students.) So starting a kindergarten should be helpful in that regard the year after next. We do have incoming first graders next fall, so we thought this would be the ideal time to start a K-1 class.”

The idea of having a fulltime K-1 class came to Guardian Angel-St. Boniface from parents who live in Pullman, about a 10-minute drive away. “We’ll be running it five full days a week,” said Becker. “We began thinking about this seriously only about (the first of February), but the more we thought about it the more we thought, hey, this is the way to save the school.”

Parents, the school’s finance committee, teachers, and the school advisory council all participated in the decision making process. “Ordinarily, we wouldn’t need to hire a new teacher,” Becker said, “but our current second grade teacher is leaving because her husband got a job back east. So there will be an open position that we will need to fill.”

One of the big attractions of the new K-1 class, Becker said, is that the school’s tuition will be much lower than parents are currently paying for day care. “A lot has been said about how enriched the new kindergarteners will be with being involved in a first grade classroom,” she said. “We’re hoping to get a class of 15, that’s our goal, but I think there’s a chance that we could get more than that. The parents from Pullman who brought this idea to us are so excited.”

Registration is open now for next fall. “We already have three kindergarteners enrolled,” she said, “and we are just really, really excited.”

Pictured above is Guardian Angel/St. Boniface School’s kindergarten class for next year: from left are Maggie, Rachel, Grant and Brendon. In the lower picture are next year’s second graders: from left are Chris, Kian and Jackson. (IR photo courtesy of Guardian Angel/St. Boniface School)

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