All posts by Loretta George

Fort Scott Soap Box Derby Reunion Race Is June 1

 

Clete Hall, Pete Allen, and Larry Ballou practice their created vehicles on Crawford Street for the race on June 1. Submitted photo.

Pete Allen, Larry Ballou, Clete Hall and Jerry Witt were all Boy Scouts in a Fort Scott Soapbox Derby in 1951.

1951 Fort Scott Tribune photo, which was submitted.

Now in their retirement years, the four will compete in a similar race called the Marmaton Challenge on June 1 at 9 a.m. at the hill on National Avenue at Oak Street.

The Marmaton Challenge is an event organized by Scoutmaster Seth Needham, of Pack 114. Funds raised will help scouts attend a summer camp.

“These are four survivors of the original soapbox racers from 1951, going at it again for a good cause,” Pete Allen said. “We all encourage the people to come down and support the scouts.”

About the Marmaton Classic Downhill Derby

Derby racing returns to Fort Scott Kansas, according to https://allevents.in/fort%20scott/marmaton-classic-downhill-derby

BSA Pack 114 is hosting a downhill Derby on June 1st.

All area cub scout packs and BSA troops are invited to attend. Additionally, there will be an Open Class so your company or organization can join the fun.

Get your team together for a fun day of racing, or just come to watch and cheer on your favorite team.

There will be three divisions: Cub Scouts, Troop, and Open Class

Registration and Check-in will be at 8 a.m., and racing will start at 9 a.m.

There will be many activities to attend throughout the day since the race is being held on the same day as Fort Scott’s yearly festival, The Good Ol’ Days. So get a team together, show your car off in the parade on Friday night, and come to Fort Scott for some downhill racing.

For additional information or to register, please email Seth Needham @ [email protected]

 

Euna Kim Blythe Thanks Her Community

Nelson Blythe holds son Isaac, with Euna Kim Blythe. Submitted photo.

Euna Blythe and husband Nelson were driving to Fort Scott on Hwy. 54 near Uniontown on the evening of November 7, 2021, when their car struck a black cow on the road.

“I do not remember anything from the accident and the following few weeks,” Euna said.

She was life-flighted from the  West Bourbon Elementary School yard that evening to the Kansas City area for the severity of her condition.

“I was three months in the hospital and about another three months spent between Meadowbrook rehab and Madonna rehab,” she said.

Today she continues therapy for her injuries, but out of this tragic accident, came something really good: she and Nelson had their first child, a son named Isaac in January 2024.

To this couple, the birth was a miracle because they had been trying to conceive for seven years.

Here is a letter to the community from Euna.

“I would like to show gratitude to the many people who helped me during (the) terrible car accident I had on November 7, 2021,” she said. “First of all, members of Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, that included Detectives Alvin Metcalf and Kevin Davidson, Deputies Trey Sharp, Shawn Pritchett, Andrew Penland, Zach Ross, and Patrick Brazeal, Undersheriff Ben Cole and Sheriff Bill Martin.”

“Deputy Ross and Brazeal responded to my accident and acted with great compassion and professionalism,” she said.

“Detective Metcalf was in Kansas City at the time of the accident, and went straight to KU Med Center as soon as he heard, and helped lead my family where they needed to go. Detective Davidson, Deputy Sharp, Pritchett and Penland rushed to the helicopter landing zone and stayed with my husband, Nelson …, as I was being cared for by Bourbon County EMS. I have been told that EMS staff Trace Evans and Robert Leisure transported me in the ambulance from the scene of the accident to the landing zone. Deputy Shawn Pritchett drove my husband and the other deputies to KU Med. Linn County Deputies met them at the county line and escorted them to Miami County. Miami County Deputies escorted them to Johnson County.”

“At the hospital, Nelson was met by Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin and Undersheriff Ben Cole, as well as the Sheriff of Linn County, Kevin Friend. Also present were Nelson’s parents and our Pastor, Tony Felich.”

“Throughout the weeks following, Nelson’s law enforcement brothers hardly left his side and for that I am forever grateful. I had many other visitors during the days I was in a coma and the days following, including my dear Jiu-Jitsu coach Brett Holder who encouraged me to never give up.”

“There are so many other people who came to visit me and provided comfort to my distressed family. I cannot name them all, but please know that I am so grateful to all of you.”

“I want to thank Fort Scott Munitions and the Kraft family for reserving hotel rooms near the hospital so my family could have a place to stay. I would also like to thank Young Yu, for lending a helping hand without hesitation.”

” I want to thank all of the Linn County Sheriff’s Deputies for donating all of their sick time so that Nelson could stay with me at the hospital. I would specifically like to thank Sgt. Tanner Ogden, who organized a fundraiser in Linn County.”

“I want to sincerely thank the people in Bourbon County and people from all over, who donated a substantial amount of money to help alleviate my family’s financial needs. Without that fundraiser, it would have been impossible for me to be admitted to Madonna Rehab, where I received much-needed care. Trey Sharp was the organizer.”

“Next, Doctors and nurses of KU Medical Center(MD Sarah Eickmeyer, MD Ifijie E Ohiorhernuan, PhD Monica F Kurylo, Taylor L, MD Alexandra N Arickx, MD Kyle R Brown, DO Erich M Wessel, CRNA Dylan C McDaniel, MD Robin R Walters, MD Sean C. Liebscher, MD Miles Sanderson, MD Kimberlee D Reets, APRN-NP Kathryn  M Moore, APRN-NP Rachael A Domino, MD Jourdaen Sanchez, MD Stephen R Eaton, MD Thomas J Whittaker, MD Jason S Frederick, MD Anand Dharia, MD Adip Bhargav) Doctors, Nurses and therapists from Hanger CLINIC, Meadowbrook Rehab and Madonna Rehab and Bryan West Hospital in Lincoln Nebraska. They were the most helpful staff and workers.

” I want to thank both my American and  South Korean family,  Nelson’s family was tearful and rejoiced when I was finally able to wake up and my family in South Korea did the same. They managed to fly over here right after they heard about the accident and stayed for two weeks. Also, to Galen and Jeffie Mussman, thank you for your kindness shown to my family.”

” I want to thank my husband, Nelson Blythe. Nelson never gave up on me even when my recovery seemed impossible. Nelson kept fighting through the horrible abyss even when told by doctors that I would most likely never wake up.”

“Nelson made feeble attempts to clean and do chores while I was hospitalized, and managed to keep the cats alive, and the house from burning down.”

“I want to thank Else Moss and Jennifer Ballou, Krista Ogden, and my Aunt, Terry Blythe, for coming to Nelson’s rescue by assisting with house chores and taking care of me while Nelson was at work.”

“This accident has really shown me the importance of community, family and friends. This community showed me staggering kindness and care. I am humbled by the fierce loyalty and commitment displayed by all of you.”

“From the bottom of my heart, I thank every one of you.”

“I pray that the Almighty God, the Father of our Savior Jesus Christ, continues to show his love, mercy and peace to me, my family and to all of us in this community. Amen.”

Zach Ross: A Passion Turned Into A Business

Zach Ross. Submitted photo.
Zach Ross has always had a passion for animals.
“Even at a young age helping to train hunting dogs, he’s always been attuned with animals,” his wife Aubry said.
He has professional experience training dogs as well.
“Zach has over eight years of experience working and training law enforcement K9s, she said. “Our philosophy on dog ownership and training is firm, fair, and consistent and we hope that by teaching this model to our clients they will become successful, happy dog owners.”
Submitted by the Ross family.
They own Ross’ Kennels and Boarding LLC.
“We provide a variety of pet services, including overnight boarding, Doggie Daycare, training, and limited grooming services,” she said. “We are licensed and insured and have been providing the community with these services since 2019.”

They have clients from Fort Scott, Pittsburg, Louisburg, Nevada, Linn County, and Bourbon County.

“We are excited to announce full-time Doggie Daycare starting in June, which will include structured walks, social playtime, and obedience training/reinforcement,” she said. “We also plan on providing a taxi service for Fort Scott residents for pick up and drop off. We understand that the kennel being outside of town can be an inconvenience to families who work regular day hours and we want to continue to provide flexibility and convenience to our clients and their fur-friends.”
They provide clients with flexible hours and operate by appointment only. 

Ross’s Kennels and Boarding

721 240th ST Fort Scott KS, 66701

 

Bourbon County Health Care Sales Tax Is Approved By A Wide Majority, REH Discussion Beginning In Washington D.C.

Voting in the Bourbon County Courthouse in 2018.

The unofficial results of the May 14 election are in.

Bourbon County residents voted 1611 to 496 in favor of a one-quarter cent retail sales tax. Nine ballots were blank and are listed as “undervotes”,” Bourbon County Clerk Jennifer Hawkins said. “We have a total of 12,418 registered voters which equals a turnout of 17.03% which is slightly less than the city/school election last November which had a turnout of 19.35%.”

The tax becomes effective October 1, 2024, and continues for five years and will used for the establishment and operation of an Emergency Department in Bourbon County.

When the tax terminates in five years, the remaining tax funds will be used for Emergency Medical Services and/or property tax reduction as determined by the Bourbon County Commissions.

 

The emergency room at 401 Woodland Hills Blvd.

Rural Emergency Hospital Discussion Starts In Washington

In a related category, the U.S. Senate had legislation introduced recently that starts further federal discussion of rural emergency hospitals.

Mercy Hospital Fort Scott closed in December 2018, citing declining patient numbers. Ascension Via Christi then took over operations of  Mercy’s Emergency Room in 2019 and closed in December 2023.

To view prior stories:

Mercy Hospital Fort Scott to Close

Ascension Via Christi to close Emergency Department in Fort Scott on Dec. 20

That emergency room, at 401 Woodland Hills, Fort Scott, is currently closed.

Today U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.)  announced they have introduced legislation to expand access to federal resources for rural hospitals through the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) Medicare designation, according to a Moran press release

 

“The Rural Emergency Hospital Improvement Act would increase opportunities for Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and rural hospitals to convert to an REH and make technical improvements to the designation. These changes would help make the conversion to an REH more appealing by giving rural hospitals facing closure access to critical resources from the federal government to remain open.

 

“Access to emergency health care saves lives and helps rural communities prosper,” said Sen. Moran. “Too many rural hospitals in Kansas and across the country are struggling to keep their doors open, and this legislation offers those hospitals a lifeline. The Rural Emergency Hospital designation has already helped save numerous rural hospitals, and expanding access to this successful program is a common-sense way to make certain more hospitals stay open.”

“Rural hospitals provide health care in areas where it isn’t otherwise easy to access, so when their doors close, communities are left with almost no options, and that’s dangerous. If you’re dealing with a medical emergency or you just went into labor, the last thing on your mind should be whether your local hospital is still open,” said Senator Smith. “This bill is about public safety. It will make sure that if a hospital is in truly dire straits, they can remain open for emergency care – including obstetric care.”

 

“Created as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, REH is a new Medicare provider designation that offers certain rural hospitals the opportunity to convert and continue operating with limited services rather than closing. The provisions in the REH Improvement Act are the result of numerous conversations Sen. Moran held with rural health care providers and CEOs of hospitals that are eligible for the REH designation.”

According to the Moran press release:

“The Rural Emergency Hospital Improvement Act would:

  • Allow previously closed rural hospitals to re-open and apply for the Rural Emergency Hospital designation if they can demonstrate they met all eligibility requirements between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 27, 2020.
  • Direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a waiver program for facilities operating similarly to an REH in order to convert to an REH.
  • Allow REH facilities to maintain or create a unit for inpatient psychiatric care, obstetric care and allow for limited inpatient rehabilitation services.
  • Require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide additional funding for laboratory services.
  • Clarify that REH facilities are eligible for Small Rural Hospital Improvement grants.
  • Direct the Secretary of HHS to allow an REH to be eligible as a National Health Service Corp site.
  • Authorize REH facilities to transfer patients from acute care to a Skilled Nursing Facility without leaving the hospital, in accordance with the Social Security Act.
  • Allow an REH facility to revert back to a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) to regain necessary provider status, only if the facility was designated a necessary provider prior to converting to REH.”

 

Fort Scott Kicks Off Summer Activities This Saturday

The Gathering Place was completed in 2023.

The City of Fort Scott is sponsoring a free community event this Saturday, May 18 from 1 to 10 p.m. called Hello Summer Luau 2024.

The splash pad will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the Fort Scott Farmers Market is under the pavilion from 8 a.m. to noon.

The Fort Scott Sensory Park and Splash Pad is on North National Avenue;.

Starting at 1 p.m. there will be vendors for hot dogs, kettle corn, pork rinds and lemonade. Face painting and hair tinsel will be available.

Free goodie bags will be given to the first 100 kids attending.

In the evening, live music will feature Vinyl Revival and Surfin USA two Kansas City bands.

“The purpose of this event is to have the community come together and be able to kick off summer 2024,” Payton Coyan, the City of Fort Scott Director of Human Resources, said.

Payton Coyan. Submitted photo

“We are excited to host the Hello Summer Luau to strengthen our community bonds. These events help develop a sense of belonging, community, and friendship! This event will be an alcohol and drug-free event. The whole event will be free for all individuals! We hope to see everyone in Downtown Fort Scott to kick off SUMMER 2024!”

The event will be at the Gathering Square in Downtown Fort Scott, on North National Avenue, south the Marmaton River Bridge

The Fort Scott Splash Pad opened in 2023.

The City of Fort Scott is so excited to invite everyone to kick off summer with a splash bash at the splashpad on May 18th, 2024,” she said. “The Farmers Market will kick it off that morning and then there will be over 15 vendors that have face painting, hair tinsel, ice cream, lemonade, snacks and we will also have special guest Sparky the Fire Dog. The City of Fort Scott will have gift bags for the first 100 kiddos and then Surfin’ USA and Vinyl Revival will be highlighting the evening from 6:30PM to 10:00PM. All Hit 103.9 will be there with live coverage, and is our platinum advertisement sponsor for this city-wide event. Come join the fun on May 18th, at the Splashpad in Downtown Fort Scott.”

“If we have inclement weather it will be moved to Memorial Hall,: Coyan said. “However, according to the weather forecast, we look like we are going to have great weather!”

Coyan and Mary Wyatt, the city’s Planning, Housing, and Community Development Director, are facilitating the event.

This is being paid for by the city’s  Fund 206 – Special Alcohol and Drugs (Prevention). This fund can only be utilized when Alcohol and Drugs are not allowed to be sold in the event space.

Mary Wyatt. Submitted photo.

 

Chamber Coffee Hosted by Shead Farm On May 16

Join us for Chamber Coffee!

Thursday, May 16th, 8am

Hosted by Shead Farm

2468 Cavalry Road

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce invites members and guests to a Chamber Coffee hosted by Shead Farm, 2468 Cavalry Road, on Thursday, May 16th at 8am. Coffee, juice, and refreshments will be served, and attendees may register to win a special drawing. It will take you about 15-20 minutes to get there from Fort Scott, so we suggest you leave town by 7:40am! Go South on 69 Highway to Cavalry Road, turn east and follow the signs.

Shead Farm is hosting their 4th Annual Shead Farm Homestead Festival THIS Saturday from 10am-6pm. There will be music, children’s activities, farm tours, farm store and vendor booths, and a food court. A wonderful outing that ALL ages will enjoy! Admission: single ticket – $5 or family pass $25 (5+ members).

Contact the Chamber of Commerce at (620) 223-3566 for more information. Visit the Events Calendar and category of Chamber Coffees on fortscott.com for upcoming locations.

Click here for their Facebook page!

Click here for their Website!

Thank you to our Chamber Champion members

shown below…

Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce

231 E. Wall St., Fort Scott, KS 66701

620-223-3566

fortscott.com

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Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Today Is The Day For Healthcare Sales Tax Question To Be Decided

Vote Here sign at the Bourbon County Courthouse.

People who have been wanting to make their voices heard on a sales tax to establish and operate emergency healthcare in our community will soon have their chance.

The Bourbon County Commission election is today, May 14 for voters to decide.

“It was suggested months ago to put the matter of a healthcare sales tax on the ballot when the subject of subsidizing an emergency room, due to  Ascension Via Christi closing the emergency room, was first announced,” said Bourbon County Clerk Jennifer Hawkins.

To view the press release of the closure:

December 20: Ascension Via Christi Closes Emergency Department in Fort Scott

Bourbon County Clerk Jennifer Hawkins. Submitted photo.

At the March 11, 2024 meeting of the Bourbon County Commission, Commissioner Clifton Beth made a motion to approve a community vote on the idea.

Bourbon County Commissioner Clifton Beth. Submitted photo.

“The original question asked for a one-half cent sales tax, but Clifton made a motion to approve the question changing it to a one-quarter cent sales tax and it was approved by all three Commissioners,” Hawkins said. “The purpose of the sales tax is to be used as needed for the establishment and operation of an Emergency Department in Bourbon County.”

 

 

Here is the wording of the question that will be asked of Bourbon County residents:

Shall the following be adopted?

 

Bourbon County shall adopt a one-quarter cent retail sales tax effective October 1, 2024, and continuing for 5 years. Said tax shall be used as needed for establishment and operation of an Emergency Department in Bourbon County. Upon termination, remaining tax funds shall be used for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and/or property tax reduction as determined by the Bourbon County Commissioners.

 

              Yes

              No

Stolen Vehicle Pulled From Fort Scott Lake on May 11

The vehicle pulled from Fort Scott Lake on May 11, 2024. Submitted by Wilma Cagle.

The Fort Scott Police Department was dispatched to Fort Scott Lake on Indian Road on Saturday morning.

“On Saturday, May 11, we had an individual using a fish finder call and say he believed he saw a vehicle underwater with sonar,” Lt. Caleb Bell, with the FSPD said.

The vehicle was located approximately 50 feet south of the dam and 20 feet deep in the water, he said.

“We called the Overland Park Dive Team with the Overland Park Police Department and they came down and dove and advised there was a vehicle,” he said. “There were no people in the vehicle. It was stolen in 2013.”

The vehicle is a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, a Sport Utility Vehicle.

The stolen vehicle. Photo submitted by Lt. Caleb Bell.

“We’ve made contact with the owners,” Bell said. “They don’t live here anymore. The case of the stolen vehicle was from 2013 and it is an ongoing investigation.”

“We got dispatched at 10:45 a.m. and the investigation was finished by 5:59 p.m.,” he said.

Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the event.

 

 

 

Headstone/Monument Cleaning Added to Services Provided by Influx Services

Jake Province. Submitted photo.

Jake Provice started Influx Services a little over two and a half years ago.

“We serve Fort Scott, Joplin, and the surrounding areas,” he said.
“We provide professional exterior cleaning services, and specialize in house washing, window cleaning, and gutter cleaning. We use the ‘softwash’  process…which uses low-pressure and algicides to safely clean your home, without the risk of damage that comes with traditional pressure washing.”
“At Influx Services we are excited to publicly announce our professional headstone and monument cleaning services, available in Fort Scott, Joplin, and the surrounding areas,” he said. ” We use a specially designed, national cemetery-approved product and gentle cleaning methods to clean headstones and other stone monuments safely and effectively, without the risk of damage or deterioration that can come with other cleaning techniques.”
Before and after photos of headstone cleaning by InFlux Services. Submitted photo.
“The headstone cleaning is a new service,” he said. “I’ve been doing work at Evergreen Cemetery, but this would be the first time publicly announcing it. We use a specialized cleaning product and method that is historically used to clean national cemeteries and the white house.”
“Those interested in our headstone and monument cleaning services and/or our other exterior cleaning services such as house washing, window cleaning, and gutter cleaning, please give us a call or text at (620) 407-3008, or email us at influxservicescontact@gmail.com!”

He takes calls from 9 am to 9 pm seven days a week.

Nominate a Young Entrepreneur For a Feature Story on FortScott.Biz

Devlin Cole sold handmade leather crafts at a 2023 Fort Scott Farmers Market.

Fortscott.biz desires to help local entrepreneurs in their business ventures and has featured many on our news service.

We are once again starting a series on young entrepreneurs.

Fortscott.biz would like to feature local,  young entrepreneurs under 20 years old, who have seen a need and have started a business to meet it, or who have a talent and turned it into a business.

Hannah Vann was featured in 2019 with her car detailing business.

To nominate a young entrepreneur, email [email protected] with the name, age, email address, and/or phone number of the person, with the business they are doing.  Please include who is nominating the person and why.

Relatives, friends and recipients of the product or services are invited to nominate a young entrepreneur.

Brian Griffin was featured in 2019 and his bicycle repair shop.

 

Judah Whitson at the cash register at Fort Scott Farmers Market.
Judah Whitson mans the cash register at his family’s booth at the Fort Scott Farmers Market in 2023, Judah and his two brothers are all young entrepreneurs.

We also feature local entrepreneurs over 20! If you have started a new business or added a service/product,  please email [email protected] with the email address, phone number and tell a little about your business.

New Pet Service Opens By Newcomers From California

Devin and Jalaine Davis. Submitted photo.

Devin and Jalaine Davis moved to Fort Scott from Rancho Murieta, California at the end of April 2024.

“I’m from the Midwest and missed my roots and we wanted to be more central to being able to drive to family,” she said. “We have a military friend from Fort Scott which is what keyed us in to consider this our new home and we love it so far.”
Jalaine is a Navy veteran and her husband is a Marine veteran
She started her pet care service business in California and continues it at their new home. She does pet-sitting, dog walking, and drop-in services available for all pet owner’s needs.

“I started my business in California because I love animals and was tired of being inside all day behind a desk and felt I could serve a better purpose by serving my local community through pet services needs and the business flourished in no time. I left 150 clients to move here and am looking forward to helping others in Fort Scott now.”
“I will be transferring my LLC to Kansas very soon,” she said. “A unique thing about my services is that this is an official, licensed business, unlike other local dog walkers and I provide other services, such as putting out your trash bins while you are away, and returning them the following day, picking up your mail, watering plants, etc.  I take my business seriously and do everything I can to accommodate you and your pet(s)! Another unique thing about my dog walking services is that it’s one on one with your pet(s).”
“I DO NOT mix other people’s dog(s) into the walk with yours; allowing your pet to get full attention from me,” she said. “I’m also a runner, so if your pet needs to run instead of walk, I can do it!  Send me a text or call to schedule a meet and greet at (916) 753-4733.”
She also takes care of livestock and farm animals.
Her references are available upon request.
Instagram: @jalainespetservices
Her electronic business card at: https://dot.cards/jalainespetservices

 

Jalaine has a  Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Management degree.

Submitted graphic.

Fort Scott Preschool Will Get Bigger Facility in 2025

Fort Scott Preschool Center, 409 S. Judson,  has a waitlist of approximately 25 three-year-old students this year.

The Fort Scott Preschool, at 409 S. Judson.

“We began this school year with 93 students,” said Nick Johnson, the preschool’s principal.  “Between students moving into the district and students transitioning from Infant-Toddler services, we are finishing the year with 120 students.”

To solve that problem the USD234 School District has begun the process of renovating a building at 9th and Horton Streets for a preschool center. The building was originally owned by Mercy Hospital.

902 S. Horton, from a 2022 photo.

“The new building will allow our program to expand to five classrooms and all those classrooms will be under one roof,” he said.  “Having five classrooms will allow us to increase our enrollment and decrease class sizes.  The new building will also provide more space for related services.  In our current situation speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, mental health services, and English Speakers of Other Languages services all share very limited space.  Having staff in the same location will allow for increased collaboration and more consistency between classrooms.”

“Currently, everything being done is behind-the-scenes planning by the architects and engineers.,” Johnson said.

“Architects and engineers are currently working on plans for the new building,” he said.  “The school board held a hearing at the April board meeting to begin the process of hiring a construction manager at-risk.  The next step will be to hire a construction manager at risk.  We are planning for construction to begin this summer.”

“Construction should be completed during the 2024-25 school year,” he said.  “We are planning to be in the new building for the 2025-26 school year.”

Nick Johnson. Submitted photo.

Criteria to attend Fort Scott Preschool Center is based on age,” he said. ” The student must be three or four years old on September 1st.”

Students fall into one of three categories: 1) students who qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP), 2) students who are at risk of entering kindergarten socially, emotionally, or academically unprepared for success, and 3) peer models.

“All four of our classrooms are blended preschool classrooms, meaning they contain a combination of students from each of these three categories,” he said.

Preschool is offered free of charge to all families.

“Our preschool program receives special education and preschool-aged at-risk funding administered by Kansas Department of Education,” he said.  “We also receive funding from the Kansas Preschool Pilot Grant and the Early Childhood Block Grant.  These four funding sources cover most of our preschool expenditures and keep the program free for families.”

The mission of Fort Scott Preschool Center is to create a school environment that partners families, the school, and the community to build a foundation for lifelong learning.

There are five preschool teachers – four classroom teachers each licensed to teach early childhood special education and one part-time intervention teacher.

“We have eight classroom paraeducators,” he said. ” Our classrooms are adequately staffed as we finish the school year, but we will need to hire one or two additional paras next fall as some of our current paras transition into other roles.”