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Funkstown school now entirely focused on early learning

September 09, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN -- No stranger to change, the Funkstown School for Early Childhood Education is again transforming itself as the 2008-09 school year gets started.

The school at 23 Funkstown Road is now exclusively for grades prekindergarten and kindergarten, working with children from the Funkstown area, as well as from Emma K. Doub, Eastern and Bester elementary schools.

"This year we got all of Eastern Elementary's prekindergarten and kindergarten students," said Nancy Kirkpatrick, school secretary.

Starting this year, Doub and Eastern elementary schools have students in grades one through five.

Funkstown has six all-day kindergarten classes. There also are two morning and two afternoon prekindergarten classes.

"The nurturing environment here is supporting earliest learning," Principal Susan Burger said. "The whole school is focused on early learning."

That includes the PTA, which is active in areas of learning, as well as in fun activities for families.

"We have a lot of new families," Burger said, noting they are being welcomed into the Funkstown family.

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Bus routes have changed as well, Burger said.

Four buses each serve Eastern and Doub. Siblings can still ride the same buses between Funkstown and Doub but not between Eastern and Funkstown because of different schedules.

In 2003, the former Funkstown Elementary School gained its new name and lost grades two through five. Later, it regained second grade but only through the 2007-08 school year.

At first, Funkstown and Emma K. Doub elementary schools were teamed under one principal at Doub. Now Burger is the principal at Funkstown, where she has been at the helm since the initial changes began.

The immediate benefit of splitting classes has been that more age-specific resources and staff can be concentrated at each site instead of being spread thinner for all ages at both schools.

For more information about the school or the PTA, call 301-766-8162.

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