USD 407 Press Release

USD 407 to Host Preschool Opportunities  

11 February, 2020

USD 407, Russell County Schools, is excited to announce a preschool classroom that will expand the current offerings in the community.  This effort began as data shows that 40% of USD 407 Kindergarten students have not had exposure to preschool or organized classroom opportunities prior to enrollment at USD 407.  The two main reasons that families in Russell County communities do not have access for preschool age children is transportation and costs. USD 407 aims to assist families with children ages 3-5 in both of these challenges.  

Transportation will be provided fall 2020 in a format that is still developing.  USD 407 hopes to host a midday bus route to help transport preschool children to daycare and preschool throughout the community.  This option could serve families who are unable to transport their own children to the options available in Russell. “It’s our greatest hope that the opportunity to provide safe options will help our families in what we know is the most difficult challenge for everyone,” says Shelly Swayne USD 407 Superintendent.  

Costs are also real concerns and challenges for families with preschool age children.  USD 407 will utilize Kansas State Department of Education 4 year old at risk funding to create a nearly cost free option in expanding this classroom.  The plan is to offer a single 15 student session from 12:00- 3:30 PM daily, serving lunch and snacks for enrolled students. There will be no tuition cost to any USD 407 participants in this program, however some enrollment or lunch costs may occur. 

Organizational costs to USD 407 are minimal as they will utilize licensed staff already in place.  The effort of adding transportation will cost the district an estimated $14,000; all of which will come from tax dollars already collected.  “No new tax funding will be needed, it’s an effort to do more with what we already have in a best effort for our community.” says Swayne.  

Preschool Screenings for the Community

Preschool screenings are being organized by the USD 407 Special Education Department in cooperation with the Early Childhood Advisory Council.  This council is an open opportunity for providers from the community organized in the fall, 2019 with the intent to bring all collaborators to the table and discuss early childhood needs and successes throughout Russell County.  All providers are consistently invited to all the meeting opportunities.  

Preschool screenings are set in the community on March 6 and April 3, 2020. The screenings are often required for all students entering into any preschool options, but if you are interested in your child attending the USD 407 preschool, your child must complete the preschool screening process. The screenings are an open invitation to all 2.5- 5 year old children and families.  

Screenings will be hosted at the Russell County Health Department, 189 W. Luray Street, Russell, KS, on March 6 and April 3, 2020.  USD 407 asks that you contact the offices to schedule a time on either day, at 785.483.3226 by phone, or by email to  Time slots are available starting at 8:30 AM through 3:30 PM; screenings should take about 60 minutes with direct family feedback coming from screening professionals at the conclusion of the screening.  Please contact our offices at USD 407 with any questions about the events, programs, or opportunities on the horizon.