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Big news for District 192's Wee Tigers

Farmington's Wee Tigers program is apparently doing everything it's supposed to be doing when it comes to getting preschool children ready to learn.

A program of Farmington Community Education, Wee Tigers recently received a four-star rating in the new assessment program, Parent Aware. Created through a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Parent Aware evaluates preschool education programs and daycare providers so parents can find out about the programs in their areas.

The program is brand new, according to Tresa Washburn from Farmington Community Education. Preschool education programs are evaluated on the education of staff, what kind of training they have done, and how effective the overall programs are, she said.

"A piece of that is the children themselves, where they are developmentally, and what they need assistance on," Washburn said.

In Farmington, Wee Tiger programs are held at Meadowview Elementary, North Trail Elementary, Akin Road Elementary, Riverview Elementary, and the Instructional Services Center. The ISC also houses Time for Kids, a collaborative program that places students in special education in class with students enrolled in community education preschool programming. Students in all of ISD 192's preschool programs are ages 3 to 5, and are enrolled prior to attending kindergarten, Washburn said.

Each program receives a rating of one to four stars. Any program that receives state funding for school readiness is subject to the evaluation and ratings. Not all agencies in the state have completed the review and evaluation process yet, so getting the 4-star rating right away was a nice accomplishment for Farmington, Washburn said.

"Especially since it was something that was brand new," she added. "For us to get through the process and get our four-star rating, we were very pleased."

Now that Farmington's Wee Tigers program has been evaluated, parents can find information on the Parent Aware website,

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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