Union County College Corner Joint School District superintendent Aron Borowiak provided updates to the school board on plans to implement a preschool program in Liberty at the board's Jan. 10 meeting.

UCCCJSD was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Indiana Family and Social Services two years ago to expand preschool opportunities in the community. Plans were made to establish a preschool program operating out of Liberty Elementary School; however, those plans were blindsided by COVID-19. The decision was made to put a hold on the project in face of uncertainty regarding the pandemic.

“With COVID, we didn't know if we were going to start school, let alone start a brand new preschool,” said Borowiak. Feedback from the district's staff showed significant interest in the preschool program and an extension on the grant funding was secured. The project is back in the planning phase and a full-day preschool program in Liberty is again on the horizon. Board member Jessica Jones asked how attendance will be determined. Borowiak replied district staff will be prioritized and Union County residents to fill in the remaining spots. Due to the focus on district staff, the preschool's schedule will mirror the same class schedule as the rest of the elementary school.

Borowiak explained plans are to staff the preschool with one teacher and two aids on a split shift, which would allow up to 24 students according to the state's 12 to one staffing ration, although the first year will be limited to 20 students. Job postings are planned to go out in February and more details about the program will be available in the coming months.

Also discussed: -Borowiak provided an update on the district's solar project underway to provide power to Union County High School. In order to preserve a utility easement on school property, the location of the planned solar installation has been altered and more efficient solar panels are being investigated. Grading and water management repairs will be needed to ensure the site is suitable and to provide practice space for the school's athletic programs.