Ensuring All Kids Have Their Best Start

YMCA’s Sunshine School

Together, the Oconomowoc Area School District and the Y’s Sunshine School have teamed up to ensure all children have their best start for kindergarten.

The Y has worked alongside the school district for many years, but in 2021, an exclusive formal contract was established that integrates the expertise of an Early Learning Strategist into the Y’s Sunshine School classroom. This program is available to young students who demonstrate delay during a preschool screening offered by the school district.

YMCA lead teacher, Carrie Hollmann, and the Oconomowoc District’s Early Learning Strategist, Alyssa Coutts, make an amazing pair as they collaborate on lesson plans that best meet the needs of all the children in the classroom.

Young learners who have been referred by the school district benefit from a variety of therapies such as speech, OT and PT, in accordance with their Individual Education Plan (IEP), which are rotated into the Y’s Sunshine School classroom schedule. These services are funded by state and local resources with no additional cost to the family.

In Sunshine School, one of the goals is to provide opportunities for all young students to participate in every activity, whatever their ability. The partnership with OASD solidifies these goals, meeting the students where they are at, ensuring that all can participate, and giving all students a strong start as they enter school.