"Where learning and fun go hand in hand"
TOPS Preschool classes meet Monday through Friday, with the exception of Madison School holidays. Parents can indicate a preference for morning or afternoon preschool and we will do our best to accomodate you.
Class times are as follows:
Each classroom has a daily schedule which includes play time, whole group time, snack, and outside time as weather permits.
TOPS is a recipient of the state of Illinois Preschool for all Grant. There are no fees for parents.
"Where learning and fun go hand in hand"
TOPS Pre-K is a receipient of the Illinois Preschool for All grant, which focuses on high-quality educational programs for children who are determined to be "at-risk" due to a wide variety of factors. A few examples of these factors are: low to moderate income families, families where English is not the primary language spoken at home, and single parent/blended families. Students must be "at-risk" and at least 3 years old to enroll in the Preschool for All program.
Please note that we have limited space and not every student who qualifies will be able to secure a spot in the program. Children who are the most "at-risk" will be placed first and 4 year olds also get priority over three year olds.
Registration--February 4, 2013 through April 5, 2013
"Where learning and fun go hand in hand"
We believe that parents are the experts on their own children. We seek a strong parent-teacher connection in order to provide the most developmentally appropriate and enriching environment for each child in our program. Parents can take advantage of the many services offered to them as part of the TOPS program.
Parent and Family Education Workshops
Parents are strongly encouraged to attend parent and family education workshops on topics ranging from children and reading, to enhancing children's social skills, to positive parenting. Topics are determined by a parent survey distributed at the beginning of each school year.
We plan two to three fun family events per year. All TOPS families are welcome to attend. From our Holiday Happening to our Healthy Kids Night, we try to give families plenty of opportunities to meet, play and learn together. We also encourage parents to attend Madison School events, such as the DEAR Week Pajama Party, and all-district PTO Parent Educati0n Nights.
Parents are a welcome addition to our classrooms. We encourage all parents to volunteer once a month, for 15 to 45 minutes. Volunteers are also needed for field trips.
Every family involved in TOPS is welcome to participate in the Lending Library. Every week you and your child can check out something new from the Lending Library. Try all our materials for a well-rounded literacy enhancing experience. Materials include children's books, Leap Pads and Leap Pad books, computer games, puzzles and toys, activity bags, theme boxes, books on CD, board games, music CDs, and much more.
Parent Information Board
Located on the wall between Mrs. Walsh and Mrs. Barth's classrooms, the Parent Information Board is updated regularly and posts important information, such as the monthly TOPS calendar, field trip fliers, parent workshop fliers, parenting tips, community happenings, and classroom newsletters.
The Parent Handbook tells you everything you need to know about TOPS Preschool policies and procedures. Click here for the 2012-2013 Parent Handbook:
Each student at TOPS Pre-K receives a nutritious snack on a daily basis. Snacks can include fruits and vegatables, wheat crackers, yogurt, and cheese. We do not serve meat or products with geletin in them. Studetns generally drink milk or water with their snack. Click below for a current snack schedule:
"TOPS Preschool has become a geat stepping stone in getting my boys ready for kindergarten. Mrs.Barth reads the morning message along with the children, which is something they do every day in kindergarten. They are beginning to read without even knowing it. With the implementation of the Jolly Phonics program last year, my son already knows the sounds each letter makes to prepare him for reading."
"Mrs. Walsh is wonderful--kind, warm, and engaging--just the kind of teacher you'd want for a first school experience."
"The activities are amazing and the kids learn so much. Everything is organized in a very professional manner. The teachers are very helpful. Overall, the school is great."
"This is a preschool with real teachers, a library,a playground, and a modern facility. Our boy is thriving in this environment."
"The TOPS preschool program and teachers provide a great environment for learning. Each day our son comes home and tells us about something new he has learned, or shares with us the activities he worked on that day. He is so proud of his work. Our son loves going to school!"
"TOPS Preschool is a great foundation for my child's education. The teachers are wonderful and give each child special attention to meet his or her individual needs. My son enjoys going to school and loves his teachers."
"The school aims to prepare children for kindergarten and it really does an excellent job! My son was ready in so many ways--by understanding a school routine, by learning to sit quietly and listen, by learning how to cooperate with other children, and with an amazing amount of academic learning. The school is well prepared to do so because they can use the resources of Madison School."
"I am delighted with the TOPS Preschool program. The kids are learning so much--they are so well behaved, listening, and trying to write, spell, and read. I see so much growth."
"My daughter always talks about how nicely the teachers talk to the students and how they are a big inspiration in her life."
"My son is very fortunate to have teachers like Mrs. Barth and Mrs. Mathes teaching his class."
"We are impressed with our overall TOPS experience and we appreciate the emphasis on parent involvement and celebrating diversity."
"After looking into numerous preschools, I feel confident we made the right choice in selecting TOPS."
"After only three months I can see a difference in my son. He is listening, following directions and communicating better. The best part is that the kids are enjoying themselves so much that they do not even realize they are learning."
"TOPS has experienced teachers who are really good at what they do."
"TOPS Preschool is a great place for kids to learn and enjoy all the wonderful activities the teachers are offering."
"I really like the teachers' professionalism and friendliness towards the children and parents. I think it is great that they are so involved and care so much about our children."
"My son always enjoys going to school and has many things to share with us when he comes home. TOPS Preschool has made my son enjoy learning and making new friends."
"Before my daughter started school she was afraid to go, but now she absolutely loves it, and that's thanks to Mrs. Walsh. She has made my daughter feel very comfortable."
Fun Family Links
Fall Family Night
Field Trip to The Grove
"Where learning and fun go hand in hand"
The integrity of any early childhood education program is measured in large part by the quality of its staff. Our Illinois state certified teachers and our assistants are highly qualified in early childhood growth and development. TOPS teachers provide frequent, positive, warm interactions with the children and regular communication with parents. Through the cooperative efforts of our entire team we facilitate a positive learning environment.
Mrs. Mary Walsh, Classroom Teacher, Room 31
Mrs. Walsh is beginning her nineth year teaching for the TOPS Pre-K program. Prior to teaching for TOPS she taught preschool in Lincolnwood for 6 years. Mrs. Walsh received her Bachelor's Degree and Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Northeastern Illinois University. She is currently working on her ELL Endorsement at National Louis University. She has worked with children most of her life as a home day care provider, camp counselor, and swimming instructor. Mrs. Walsh is a proud mother of four children and enjoying her two baby grandchildren. When she is not at school she enjoys spending time with her husband and family. She also enjoys reading, swimming, and sports.
Mrs. Ilene Stiernberg, Instructional Assistant, Room 31
Mrs. Stiernberg has a BFA and MA in Art Education from the University of Illinois and an MFA in Painting from Northern Illinois University. She was an Art teacher at Arlington High School for three years before becoming a free lance artist and mother.After raising her children, she returned to teaching at Madison as an aide in the special education classrooms for 8 years before moving into the exciting new role of preschool aide! In her free time she loves to listen to music, draw, and read.
Mrs. Katy Barth , Classroom Teacher, Room 33
Mrs. Barth attended National-Louis University and received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. She also received her Masters in Language and Literacy from Roosevelt University. This is her 5th year teaching at TOPS Pre-K. Some of Mrs. Barth's hobbies are watching movies, reading, traveling, and dancing. During her free time she likes to spend time with her husband and one year old daughter, Ryleigh.
Mrs. Loretta Mathes , Instructional Assistant, Room 33
Mrs. Mathes is very happy to be a part of Madison School's TOPS Pre-K program. She has several years experience working with preschool children and enjoys it very much. Mrs. Mathes has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Triton College and a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from Kendall College. This is her 3rd year at TOPS-Pre-K. She is the proud mother of 7 year old twin boys. Her hobbies include bike riding with her family and working out when she can.
Ms. Rachelli Berkowicz, Classroom Teacher, Room 32
Rachelli Berkowicz is both a regular education and a special education teacher in the preschool. Ms. Berkowicz received her B.S. in Special Education at Boston University and her M.S. at National Louis Universtiy in Early Childhood Educatin and ELL. This is Ms. Berkowicz's 5th year teaching and she enjoys cooking, traveling, and exercising.
Mrs. Simona Gallagher, Instructional Assistant, Room 32
Mrs. Gallagher has worked in school district 69 for the past 3 years. She began as a one on one aide at Edison Elementary and continued on at Lincoln Junior High. At Madison, she has assisted in the K/1st grade special education classroom and is currently assisting in TOPS. Mrs. Gallagher is attending Concordia University in pursuit of her teaching certificate and masters degree. In her spare time Mrs. Gallagher enjoys running, writing and traveling with her family. She is the mother of two boys, ages 12 and 16.
Ms. Elisa Leporini, Social Worker
This is Mrs. Leporini’s first year as the new full time preschool social worker/case coordinator. She has ten years of experience working with K-12 aged students with emotional/behavioral disorders in an alternative school setting. She is excited to work with children and their families in the early childhood program. Mrs. Leporini earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a Master of Social Work degree from Aurora University. Mrs. Leporini is a mother of three: Luciene (15), Marco (4) and Leonardo (2). She enjoys Pilates, exercise boot camp, chocolate, gardening and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Ilene Ross, Speech/Language Pathologist
Mrs. Ross received her bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science from the University of Illinois-Urbana and her master’s degree in speech pathology from The Pennsylvania State University-University Park. She is a member of the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Mrs. Ross holds a state of Illinois license to practice speech-language therapy. When Mrs. Ross is not attending workshops and conventions, she is out jogging through her neighborhood or visiting museums. She lives in Highland Park with her husband and two daughters.
Mrs. Tara Bristow, Resource Teacher
Mrs. Bristow is a new resource teacher for the TOPS program. She received her undergraduate degree in elementary education from the University of Iowa, and her masters in special education from Northeastern University. This is her 5th year teaching and she is excited to join the TOPS team. Mrs. Bristow lives in Chicago, and likes to spend time with her husband, Sam, and family & friends. She also enjoys cooking, reading, exercising.
Mrs. Beth Grodzin, Parent Services Coordinator
Mrs. Grodzin has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana--Champaign, and a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. She previously worked for five years as the social worker at a preschool for children with disabilities. She took a break from social work and spent eight years teaching Israeli folk dancing. This is Mrs. Grodzin's fifth year at TOPS Preschool. She enjoys working both with the parents and with the students. Beth is very busy at home with her husband Josh, and her two sons, Zev (9) and Asher (6).
TOPS Preschool has been providing early childhood education since the 2002-2003 school year. At that time, School District 69 administrators sought to fill a need in the community for a high-quality preschool program. We are a proud extension of the District 69 mission and values. Being housed in a primary school provides many advantages. Both District 69 and Madison School are highly supportive of the preschool program, have high hiring standards, hiring only certified early childhood educators as lead teachers, and provide a variety of professional development opportunities in which the teachers engage regularly. Curriculum standards are high as well, and our teachers are able to coordinate with the Madison kindergarten team to assure that our preschoolers will be ready for kindergarten when the time comes.
TOPS classrooms are housed in the new section of the Madison Elementary School building, and contain state-of-the-art furniture and a myriad of high quality educational toys. Classrooms are clean, safe, and organized into themed centers (sensory table, writing center, art center, housekeeping and dramatic play, table toys, blocks, and reading rug) so that children can easily navigate their space. We have a fenced playground available to our little ones, so they can safely explore outdoors.
At TOPS Pre-K, we are proud of our diverse community. Students come from a wide variety of cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Children with special needs are seamlessly integrated into our classrooms with the support of our special education teacher, school social worker, and speech/language therapist. We believe that children of different cultures, ages, and abilities can all learn from each other and benefit from interacting with one another. Teachers maintain high expectations for all students, while accomodating instruction to each child's needs.
Our Preschool for All Grant
TOPS Pre-K is a recipient of the State of Illinois' Preschool for All grant. The Illinois State Board of Education is committed to supporting early childhood education to ensure that all Illinois children develop a strong foundation for learning. The Preschool for All program focuses on providing high-quality educational programs for children who are determined to be "at risk" due to a wide variety of factors. a few examples of these factors are: low-income families, families where English is not the primary language spoken in the home, and single parent/blended families. There are many other factors we look at to determine if your child is eligible for our program. Families must complete the preschool screening and hand in all enrollment paperwork before we can make that decision.
Our Mission Statement
TOPS Provides the building blocks necessary to nurture a young child's growth and development by:
Each year of operation our school has grown, and we have earned a reputation for excellence. We have added services, such as a lending library, a full-time parent coordinator, family education workshops, and fun family events. We continue to support our students and families by connecting them with appropriate community resources. We have enriched our curriculum through the use of Creative Curriculum, Jolly Phonics, Hanwriting Without Tears, and the Second Step social skills program. At the end of each school year we evaluate our program and ask ourselves, "How can we make TOPS Pre-K better?"
Our library has over 10,000 books for student check-out. The library is always buzzing with activity.
One of our goals is to encourage exploration by exposing students to quality reading materials.
The library has many cozy spots where students can relax and read.
This high-tech computer lab is located adjacent to the library and is used weekly by all classes.
Our library contains a leveled bookroom where teachers can check out book sets to use during guided reading.
In an effort to make the registration process more efficient and cost effective, District 69 will make significant changes in the process for the 2010-2011 school year. The process will begin this spring by you acting on the registration documents enclosed in a mailing you will be receiving soon.
Payment Information: This year you will have the ability to pay fees online through your HomeLogic account. If you currently have a HomeLogic account you will see the 2010 - 2011 schools fees have been applied to your child's account. If you do not have a HomeLogic account you may click-here go to HomeLogic to create an account.
With the support and cooperation of the PTA, two days have been set aside to pick up student schedules or classroom assignments (if all fees have been paid), school calendar, SchoolKidz Supply Kits, bus information and any other materials necessary to start the school years. Those two dates are August 11, 2010 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM and August 12, 2010 from noon to 7:00 PM, both at Madison School.
Please remember, any returning students whose fees are not paid by July 15, 2010 will not receive class schedules or classroom assignments until the fees are received.
Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to call the office staff at the school your child attends.
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