STEPHENVILLE — La Petite Academy in the Tarleton State University Child Development Center has earned the Educational Excellence Award for the Central Division of Learning Care Group.
Learning Care Group manages the facility, which serves children of university students, faculty and staff members. The Tarleton State academy was chosen out of 465 schools in the division.
“The Educational Excellence Award is based on our teachers’ use of observation and assessment to plan and implement high-quality instruction for our students,” said Director Melinda Parker.
“We have always known our teachers are phenomenal, but this is further evidence, and I am so proud of them and our school.”
La Petite serves children from six weeks old through pre-K (age 4) and has a capacity of 55 students. Half are community students, and the other half are children of Tarleton employees and students, Parker said. “We welcome education and early childhood majors to observe at our school.”
“We have seen amazing learning progress with our daughter from day one with the Tarleton La Petite staff and teachers,” said Janae Smith, Advancement Services Gifts Coordinator. “She’s always excited to go to school every day, and it makes having to drop her off there each morning easier. They also send photo and video updates throughout the day of things she is learning and creating.”
La Petite employs 10 teachers including two substitutes. Four have bachelor’s degrees from Tarleton. Parker has a bachelor’s in elementary education with early childhood, special education, diagnostician and administrator certifications, as well a Master of Educational Administration (both from Tarleton). Two teachers have child development associate degrees, two have bachelor’s degrees in progress and one is working on her child development associate degree.
The Child Development Center and the Center for Child Well-being, a multidisciplinary provider of psychological, behavioral health and consultation services to families of school-aged children in the community, are housed in Moody Hall, the former women’s on-campus residence built in 1936 and named for longtime dormitory matron Lotta Moody. The building was renovated last year to include reception areas, four classrooms, a learning lab, an indoor activity center, an outdoor playground accessible through the building and a food service area.