• Welcome to Downers Grove Park District Preschool!

    We still have availability for the 2017-2018 school year! Stop by the Lincoln Center to register or call 630-963-1300 for information!


    TWO and a half-YEAR-OLD PRESCHOOL

    Weekly themes, creative expression, circle time and large and fine motor skill development help your child get ready for 3-year-old preschool. Class structure is consistent with all preschool classes and independence and socialization are emphasized. Participants receive priority registration for 3 year old preschool the following school year. Children must turn 3, between September 2, 2017 - March 1, 2018 to register for the 2017-2018 school year.

    2.5 Year Old Class Schedule Options for 2017-2018 - Now 2 hours!

    Day Time
    Tu/Th 9:00 - 11:00 am
    Tu/Th 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
    M/W 9:00 - 11:00 am

    2.5 Year Old Enrollment Fees for 2017-2018 (now 2 hour classes!)

    Resident Non-Resident
    Class Total Tuition Fee Installment Amount Total Tuition Fee
    Installment Amount
    M/W $853 $200.75 $1280 $307.50
    Tu/Th $897 $211.75 $1346 $324

    Three-Year Old Preschool

    Perfect for the new early learner, the three-year old program helps foster socialization and independence while introducing children to the classroom setting. Through teacher-guided activities, children learn to follow simple directions, make new friends and share with others in a group. Activities promote fine motor development through creative arts, cutting and gluing. Children are introduced to shape, number and color recognition through Show & Tell and themed activities and large motor skills are enhanced through gym, creative movement activities and outdoor play. Children must turn 3, but not yet 4 by September 1, 2017 to enroll in 3 year old Preschool for the 2017-2018 school year.

    3 Year Old Class Schedule Options for 2017-2018

    Day Time
    Tu/Th 8:45 - 11:15 am or 12:00 - 2:30 pm
    Tu/W/Th 8:45 - 11:15 am
    M/W 8:45 - 11:15 am

    3 Year Old Enrollment Fees for 2017-2018

    Resident Non-Resident
    Class Total Tuition Fee Installment Amount Total Tuition Fee
    Installment Amount
    Tu/Th $1222 $293 $1833 $445.75
    Tu/W/Th $1702 $413 $2553 $625.75
    M/W $1158 $277 $1737 $421.75


    Four/Five-Year Old Preschool

    Experienced learners prepare for Kindergarten in programs designed for continued enrichment. Children develop readiness skills through exposure to upper and lower case letters, sound recognition, reading and writing activities, math concepts and color and shape review. Social skills and problem solving are enhanced through unstructured play and teacher-directed group activities. Children explore and learn about the community through local field trips and community visitors. Children must turn 4 or 5 years old, but not yet 6 by September 1, 2017 to enroll in 4/5 year old preschool for the 2017-2018 school year. Note: Child must be enrolled in the Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 8:45 - 11:15am class in order to register for the Monday Add On.

    4 Year Old Class Schedule Options for 2017-2018

    Day Time
    Tu/Th 8:45 - 11:15 am
    M/W/F 8:45 - 11:15 am
    Tu/W/Th 8:45 - 11:15 am or 12:00 - 2:30 pm
    M/Tu/W/Th 12:00 - 2:30 pm
    Monday Add On
    8:45 - 11:15 am

    4 Year Old Class Enrollment Fees for 2017-2018

    Resident Non-Resident
    Class Total Tuition Fee Installment Amount Total Tuition Fee
    Installment Amount
    Tu/Th $1222 $293 $1833 $445.75
    M/W/F $1632 $395.50 $2448 $599.50
    Tu/W/Th $1702 $413 $2553 $625.75

    M/Tu/W/Th $2094 $511 $3141 $772.75
    Monday Add On $520 $130 $780 $195


    Enrichment Programs

    A variety of Preschool supplemental enrichment programs are offered throughout the course of each school year to children enrolled in 2, 3 or 4 year old Preschool. Those programs include: 3rd day option for 2.5-year-old Preschool; Preschool Connection for 3-year-old Preschool; Ready, Set, Kindergarten for 4/5-year-old Preschool; and Spanish, Math and Science classes for all Preschool ages. Class information for supplemental programs will be available in the Winter 2017 guide, as well as online.

    The Downers Grove Park District Early Childhood enrichment programs offer year-round fun and learning for you and your child - even if you are not enrolled in the Lincoln Learning Center Preschool. Early childhood classes help children gain independence and learn new skills through developmentally appropriate activities. Enjoy family programs geared for parent, child and sibling involvement.

    Choose from programs that feature arts and crafts, music and movement, dance, gymnastics, sports and games, cooking, social play, camps and more.

  • Our ADMINISTRATIVE and Teaching Staff

    All of our teachers are qualified, caring and experienced professionals who pride themselves on a warm, sensitive, safe and educational environment. Lead teachers have a degree in education, an education-related degree or equivalent experience. Aides have previous teaching experience in the area of Early Childhood Education, many with Park District Early Childhood enrichment programs. All teachers are required to complete 15 hours of continuing education to stay current on Early Childhood Education trends. Each class has two teachers. Small class sizes and bright inviting classrooms enhance the child's experience.

    Mrs. Sara Cunningham, Recreation Specialist

    Mrs. Cunningham holds a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. She started her teaching career in Lockport School District 89 as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher and then was promoted to Assistant Principal and District Coordinator. Mrs. Cunningham joined the Lincoln Learning Center in March of 2015 and is looking forward to her first full school year with the Park District beginning this Fall. In addition to teaching, she is the mother of three children that keep her very busy. Mrs. Cunningham enjoys golfing, dancing and spending time with her family.

    Mrs. Cunningham is looking forward to working with all of the staff and parents in the Downers Grove community - as she grew up in Downers Grove and was a graduate of Downers Grove North High School. "The Lincoln Learning Center has an amazing group of teachers that has dedicated most of their careers to building nurturing, caring and play-based environment. As an Early Childhood Education professional, finding a program that continues to grow, has newly remodeled classrooms and is located in a historic building, which used to be an old school, in the downtown Downers Grove area just adds to the value of the program. Early Childhood Education is my passion and it continues to change every day. The Lincoln Learning Center has everything an Early Childhood Education program should have: dedicated veteran staff, updated classrooms and a facility and environment that allows children to grow and learn. I look forward to joining the team at the Lincoln Learning Center!"

    Mrs. Sherry Bednara, Preschool Teacher's Aide

    Before becoming a teacher at the Lincoln Learning Center, Mrs. Bednara was a Lead Teacher at All God's Children preschool. She also volunteered as a library assistant and classroom parent at Hillcrest School. Mrs. Bednara is always working toward continuing her education by attending Early Childhood seminar and conferences. A 20-year resident of Downers Grove, she has always enjoyed working with children of all ages, being a devoted mother of four daughters. She loves helping children learn new skills and seeing them smile.

    Mrs. Liza Benjamin, Preschool Teacher's Aide

    Mrs. Benjamin has worked at the Lincoln Learning Center as a Teacher's Aide since 1997. Mrs. Benjamin has been in both the three and four year old programs, as well as the TotSchool program. Additional roles within the preschool program include leading both physical education and music enrichment classes, and for the past six summers, she has worked with the Exploration Station summer camp. Mrs. Benjamin is married with two grown children.

    Mrs. Karen Davison, Preschool Lead Teacher and Teacher's Aide

    Mrs. Davison has been a lead teacher and teacher aide in both three-year-old and four-year-old preschool. She has also taught Threeschool, Discovery Play, Messy Two's and a variety of early childhood classes. Before coming to Lincoln Learning Center, she worked in the Woodridge school district in their early childhood program and also as an inclusion aide. She lives with her family in Bolingbrook.

    Mrs. Kerry Finley, Preschool Teacher's Aide

    Mrs. Finley is starting her third year at the Lincoln Learning Center as a Teacher's Aide for both three and four year old programs. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics with a minor in Psychology and Math from Eastern Illinois University. Before she started teaching at the Lincoln Learning Center, Mrs. Finley enjoyed volunteering at her children's elementary school by teaching Art awareness, as well as serving on several committees. She lives in Downers Grove with her husband and two children.

    Mrs. Julie Kornafel, Preschool Teacher's Aide

    Mrs. Kornafel is starting her sixth year at the Lincoln Learning Center. She has been a Teacher's Aide in the TotSchool and the three year old Preschool. Mrs. Kornafel has also worked with the Exploration Station summer camp. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. Mrs. Kornafel lives in Downers Grove with her husband and two daughters.

    Mrs. Dana McGinnis, Preschool Teacher's Aide

    Mrs. McGinnis has been a teacher's aide at the Lincoln Learning Center since 2015. Before coming to the Lincoln Learning Center she taught Preschool/Kindergarten Religious Education at St. Mary of Gostyn for 3 years. She also has home-schooled her special needs son. Mrs. McGinnis enjoys cooking and camping during her free time. She resides in Downers Grove with her Husband and three kids.

    Mrs. Deb Norton, Preschool Lead Teacher

    Mrs. Norton has been involved in the 3 year old and 4 year old Preschool program as a lead teacher since 1979. She is also known as Mrs. Norton, the clay teacher, as she initiated and created pottery classes for children ages 5-18 at the Downers Grove Park District. She graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art/Education. She also taught at St. Paul the Apostles in Joliet for two years prior to coming to the Downers Grove Park District.

    Mrs. Nancy Rottmann, Preschool Lead Teacher

    Mrs. Rottmann received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics from Western Illinois University. She began her teaching career working as a substitute teacher in various districts before she became an instructional aide in Berwyn, IL. Mrs. Rottmann also works in the summer as a lead teacher for the Exploration Station summer camp. In addition to teaching, she is a mother of two daughters who have taken various classes at the park district over the years.

    Mrs. Martha Rumsey, 2.5 Year Old Lead Teacher

    Bio to be coming soon!

    Mrs. Beth Sexton, Preschool Lead Teacher

    Mrs. Sexton is beginning her third year as a Lincoln Learning Center teacher this fall. Mrs. Sexton holds a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and taught for the Summit School District for ten years and also taught in Michigan for two years. In addition to teaching in a school district, Mrs. Sexton worked for the Palos Heights Recreation Department for over 18 years teaching a variety of preschool and elementary aged classes, as well as coordinating the day camp and t-ball programs.

    Mrs. Cara Shirk, Preschool Teacher's Aide

    Mrs. Shirk received her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising/Public Relations from Bradley University in Peoria. After working in meeting planning for several years, she decided to switch careers and go into teaching. Mrs. Shirk received her Masters in Education from UIC and has her endorsement as a reading specialist. She started her teaching career in South Berwyn School District 100 as a 2nd grade teacher. Later she became the school's Title One Reading Specialist. She has been a Downers Grove resident for 9 years and is married with two school-aged daughters. She joined the Lincoln Learning Center Preschool as an aide in January 2015. Mrs. Shirk is a swim team mom always cheering her girls on at the pool. She enjoys reading, organizing family photo books and traveling with her family.

    Mrs. Eileen Topic, 2.5 Year Old Teacher's Aide

    Bio to be coming soon!


  • Lincoln Center

    935 Maple Avenue, Downers Grove

    Once the historic Lincoln School from 1867 - 1974, the Lincoln Community Center is ideally suited as a Preschool. Our facility offers:

    • Six bright, colorful and well-equipped classrooms
    • Small class sizes taught by professional and qualified teachers
    • Indoor gym & outdoor play areas
    • Nut-free classrooms
    • Inclusion services available through SEASPAR
    • Local walking field trips and family field trips

    Safe & Secure

    Safety is our number one priority at the Lincoln Learning Center. In order to ensure a safe environment for your children, the Lincoln Learning Center has implemented the procedures below

    • The Lincoln Learning Center now has it's own wing of the Lincoln Center. The classrooms are dedicated to this program.
    • Ten minutes after the start of class, the Preschool and TotSchool floors hallway doors are locked and remain locked until ten minutes prior to the end of class. The Lincoln Center installed automatic locks on the hallway doors to increase access control.
    • Individual classroom doors will be locked five minutes after the start of class and will remain locked until dismissal time.
    • Parents who arrive late or need to pick up their child early will need to check in at the front desk to have the hallway doors opened.
    • All teachers and staff at the Lincoln Center wear photo ID badges.
    • The registration office is located right inside the main lobby of the Lincoln Center - giving staff a visual of everyone entering the building, as well as a visual of both Preschool and TotSchool floors.

    Convenient

    We provide an optional curbside drop-off and pick-up program. Parents can either escort their child to the preschool classroom or parents can choose to participate in an optional curbside drop-off and pick-up program. At the end of the day, children are individually released to their parent or designated carpool person. Departure sign-out sheets are used daily.

  • How to Register

    How to Register for remaining spots in the 2017-2018 school year (we welcome new students up until Spring Break 2018).

    Both Downers Grove Park District Residents and Non-residents are welcome!

    • Stop by the Lincoln Center registration office at 935 Maple Avenue
    • Fill out a registration form that you will receive at the office
    • Submit a $50 deposit (non-refundable, but applied toward tuition)
    • Provide proof of residency with a utility or tax bill (if a DG Park District resident)
    • Provide a copy of your child's birth certificate for age verification (new students only)


    Registration Dates for the 2018-2019 school year

    • December 11: Returning Student and Sibling Registration Begins at 8:30am
    • January 13: Returning student and sibling registration is due by 1:00pm on January 13, 2018 to be included in the lottery process.
    • January 15: Returning Student and sibling random selection (lottery) for class time placement.
    • January 15: New Student Resident registration begins at 8:30am
    • January 20: New Student Resident registration is due by 1:00pm on January 20, 2018 to be included in the lottery process.
    • January 22: New Student Resident registration random selection (lottery) for class time placement.
    • January 23: Open Registration begins at 8:30am. Both residents and non-residents may register for remaining class openings at the Lincoln Center on a first-come, first-served basis.


    How to Register for the 2017-2018 school year

    Both Downers Grove Park District Residents and Non-residents are welcome!

    • Stop by the Lincoln Center registration office at 935 Maple Avenue based on the dates listed above
    • Fill out a registration form that you will receive at the office indicating your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice for class time placement.
    • Submit a $50 deposit (non-refundable, but applied toward tuition)
    • Provide proof of residency with a utility or tax bill (if a DG Park District resident). If you are a returning student, a copy of your driver's license will be accepted as proof of residency.
    • Provide a copy of your child's birth certificate for age verification (new students only)


    Other Registration Information

    • For siblings enrolling during priority registration - siblings must reside in the same household and provide proof of residency
    • Any unincorporated family residing in Downers Grove School District 58 will receive a resident rate for Preschool
    • If you are expecting to move within Downers Grove Park District boundaries by September 1, 2017 and want to register as a resident for Preschool, please attach a copy of the purchasing contract to your application
    • Registered students will receive their classroom and teacher assignments in August 2017
    • A $25 transfer fee will be assessed once class assignments are complete
    • All classroom and teacher assignments are random

    Preschool Refund

    The registration deposit is non-refundable. A tuition refund will only be granted if the program is cancelled for the school year by the Park District or a written physican's excuse is presented for withdrawal from the program. Application for a refund must be made in person at the Registration Office during business hours.

    Preschool Wait List Policy

    If your child is enrolled in a class but you wish to go on the waitlist for a different class, you must pay an additional $50 deposit per waitlist.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the Downers Grove Park District's basic philosophy for Preschool?

    The Downers Grove Park District believes that children learn best in a curriculum which provides developmentally appropriate experiences designed to develop the whole child. Guided by the Illinois Common Core Standards, all classroom activities are intended to enhance children creatively, intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically. The program offers a nurturing environment with stimulating activities in creative art, language and literacy, math, science, dramatic play, movement and songs and outdoor play.

    What are the qualifications of your teachers?

    All teachers are qualified, experienced professionals. Lead teachers each have an education degree, education related degree, or equivalent experience. Each Teachers Aide has previous teaching experience in the area of early childhood education, many within other park district early childhood programs. Each teacher is required to complete 15 hours of continuing education to maintain their teaching certifications and to keep current on early childhood education trends.

    What are the classroom capacities and teacher/child ratios?

    There are six preschool classrooms located at the Lincoln Center. All classrooms have two teachers and a maximum of 18 children. The number of children is based on the square footage of the classroom, allowing for maximum space.

    What are the daily drop off and pick up procedures?

    The daily procedures are planned to offer your child the maximum safety and security. Parents can either escort their child to the preschool classroom or parents can choose to participate in an optional curbside drop-off and pick-up program. At the end of the day, children are individually released to their parent or designated carpool person. Departure sign-out sheets are used daily.

    Describe a typical day in the classroom.

    A consistent daily schedule helps create a sense of security and promotes independence as children transition from the three-year-old to the four/five-year-old program. A typical day in class includes:

    • Welcome and large-group teacher-directed activity (such as Show & Tell)
    • Free play at the activity centers and creative project time with the teachers
    • Clean up time
    • Large group teacher-directed activity (such as story time)
    • Juice and table time
    • Carpet time (puzzles, books)
    • Dismissal time (ending songs & review of the day)
    • Gym or outdoor time is also scheduled as much as possible

    Does Preschool take field trips?

    Walking field trips are included each year. Local walking field trips for the children are planned in the Fall (four/five-year-olds) and in the Spring (three and four/five-year-olds).

    Are there activities that include parents and family?

    • A Parent Orientation Night takes place a couple of weeks prior to the start of the school year. At the orientation, you will meet your teachers and learn details of the program. You will also be required to complete and submit your child's emergency forms at orientation. You will be notified of the orientation date and time during the summer.
    • Parents attend the first day of Preschool to help children get acquainted with their teachers, new friends and surroundings. The first day of preschool is thirty minutes.
    • A Parent Welcome Reception takes place your first full-day of preschool. Meet and greet your fellow parents!
    • A holiday program in December invites family members to a performance of songs by the children.

    What other special activities are offered during the year?

    The preschool curriculum includes a number of programs presented in cooperation with the Downers Grove Police and Fire Department. These include Stop, Drop & Roll; Stranger Danger and Railroad Safety. Additionally, children learn safety procedures through practicing fire and tornado drills. Additional activities include Fall and Spring environmental programs done in conjunction with the Downers Grove Park District Lyman Woods Interpretive Center staff, group music, Gym Time, a visit to the clay room for "Clay Play" with Mrs. Norton, and much more!

    What schedule does preschool follow?

    Preschool begins after Labor Day and ends before Memorial Day. The Preschool program follows District 58 holidays (not teacher institute days). The preschool schedule allows an extra week of vacation time during winter break.

    My child is not yet potty trained. Can I still enroll?

    Many parents experience late training with their three-year-old children. We encourage you to wait until August to make the determination if your child will be ready for Preschool. We are willing to work with parents regarding this issue. Children do not need to be potty trained to attend 2.5-year-old Preschool.

    If I don't receive my first choice, can I be placed on the wait list and in another class choice?

    Yes, however, you must pay a $50 deposit for each waitlist.

    How quickly does the wait list progress?

    Typically, most children are eventually placed into a class; however this will depend on the size of each wait list. Each year varies and class placement cannot be guaranteed.

    How are individual Preschool classes formed?

    Classroom placement is random. Classes are balanced with an equal amount of boys and girls (based on registration numbers); children with younger birthdates and children with older birthdates. Twins are kept together in the same classroom or can be separated, based on parental choice. Parents are notified in August as to their child's classroom placement and teachers.

  • CAlendars

    OCTOBER 2017

    2.5 YEAR OLD PRESCHOOL CLASSES

    3 YEAR OLD PRESCHOOL CLASSES

    4/5 YEAR OLD PRESCHOOL CLASSES
  • General information

    OPTIONAL HOMEWORK
    Each month, we will post optional homework sheets for the 4/5 year old classes. Feel free to print the page(s), complete the homework with your child and return it to the teachers for a sticker.
    September 2017
    October 2017
    November 2017
    December 2017
    January 2018
    February 2018
    March 2018
    April 2018

    enrichment programs

    additional THINGS YOU CAN DO AT HOME


    IMPORTANT FORMS
    All Preschool paperwork - including emergency forms - will be distributed to parents during the Parent Orientation Night. All forms must be completed and returned to your teachers the night of Parent Orientation or to your teachers on the first day of school.