In February we begin to enroll students for the following September. Our process starts by asking current families about plans for their children of age to return to us. We then will know what openings we will have at different lengths of day. We also prioritize staff children and siblings of current or past Jowonio students. After that, we call families on our Interest List…to set up tours (if they have not seen our program) with their child. While information about Jowonio can be found by reading our brochure or looking at our website, seeing the classrooms in action is important. Parents need to feel comfortable with our philosophy and curriculum approach, be able to picture their child with us, and be sure that their goals for their child will be met in our program.
Enrollment for Typical Students.
Once a parent has toured and expressed interest in the school and told us a preference for length and number of days, we try to match the child with a classroom opening. Several things impact on this. Our inclusive classrooms have a planful ratio of students with special needs and typical students; we also try to maintain staff-child relationships and friendships for returning children as well as balance class groupings for gender, ethnicity, and needs. In January we left messages for the families on our Interest List to call us about a tour and to let us know if they still want to consider Jowonio for their child. We know that parents may explore several preschools, and for those children who have been on our list for a while, the family may have found another program they like. By spring we hope to be able to complete a contract with each family committing to a placement for the fall.
Enrollment for Students with Special Needs.
If a child receives special services, the enrollment process is different because the county and school district decide with parents about placement. Jowonio saves space in each classroom for a number of children who have an Early Intervention Individual Family Service Plan (age 2) or an Individual Education Plan (ages 3-5). Two year olds are recommended to our toddler collaboration with Bernice Wright Nursery School by the county Service Coordinators. For children age three to five, a school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education determines, based on a child’s evaluation, the appropriate length of day and number of therapies. The district then makes a referral to Jowonio, with parents’ consent. We may seek further information about the child’s needs, including conversation with parents and service providers and an observation of the child. Once we know what openings we have based on who is returning, Jowonio then will accept students, addressing ages and balance of needs in each classroom.
New students are admitted to Jowonio for the school year cycle as their names were placed on the waiting list, unless they are siblings of a current student or have particular special needs to be considered. Classroom placements for the following school year are made in the summer, taking into consideration parents' requests for a particular class. Class compositions change each year in terms of how children are grouped by age, gender or learning needs, with the goal that each child has an appropriate peer group.
Jowonio has a sliding scale for tuition for non handicapped children, based on the length and number of days enrolled, and the family income. Early morning and after-school programs incur additional costs. The Jowonio School Board of Directors established a Scholarship Fund to assist parents who cannot pay the tuition amount for their income level. This fund is available to all participants in the Jowonio Program. Application is made in July for the following school year. The Scholarship Committee makes a determination based on the scholarship funds available and notifies parents in August.