TK at heart of Hermosa’s State of the Schools

Preschool Director Hannah Ford talks about TK’s role in social and emotional development

Photos and story by Kevin Cody

“The Hermosa Beach School District should not exist. It’s too small. But try telling that to Hermosa Beach parents, and watch the claws come out,” Superintendent Jason Johnson observed during his State of the Schools address last Thursday, November 2, at the newly remodeled View School. He took the occasion to thank parents for approval of the $59 million school bond in 2016 that enabled the district to build the new Vista School on the old North School campus, as well as remodel View.

“Every decade a new generation of Hermosa parents has helped pay it forward,” he said. In 2002, Hermosa parents helped pass a $14 million school bond used to remodel Hermosa Valley School. This past September the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation raised a record $500,000 during its annual Giving Campaign.

“Nurturing future leaders,” was the title of Johnson’s address. It focused on the district’s new transitional kindergarten classes.

Sylvia Gluck, the district’s Administrative Services Director proposed starting a TK program when the area’s child care shortage worsened during the pandemic. The district’s TK program has grown to five classes.

Johnson underscored the financial benefits of early childhood education by noting TK kids are more likely to become homeowners than their counterparts who don’t attend TK.

Preschool Director Hannah Ford illustrated the social benefits of childhood education by recalling a parent’s email she received when she began teaching eight years ago.  The subject line was “Skydiving.” 

“The children had asked me what I did over the spring break, and I showed them a video of me skydiving. I was afraid the parent who sent the email might have thought it inappropriate. Instead, the parent told how her child enthusiastically acted out everything he saw in the video. It taught me the role preschool plays in the relationships between students, parents and teachers. And that little moments can have huge impacts.” ER


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