For 35 years, the DeWinton Community Hall has been the home to preschool in DeWinton.

Registration for students to attend preschool next autumn at the DeWinton Community Hall opened to the public on January 20th.

But, on March 1st, the DeWinton Community Association (DCA) sent out an email, saying that they will be shutting down the preschool at the end of this school year.

"It was directed to the DeWinton Community Preschool Parents, and it says, 'The DCA Board regrets to announce, that after careful consideration, the DeWinton Community Preschool will be closing its doors following the completion of the current school year,'" explained Shelby Claiter, who is a parent of two registered to attend preschool in DeWinton next year. "We had no other warning. We literally just registered our kids, not even a month prior and we get this email."

Coltier says that a petition to save the preschool from closing its doors was created the day after that announcement was made.

As of March 8th, there were 424 signatures on the petition.

"So, clearly there is a big push to save the preschool," says Claiter.

"But, yeah, we got no other notice. No notice that, 'Hey, we are struggling with X, Y, Z'. Nothing."

Claiter says that she is on the Parent Commitee, and they weren't aware of this decision.

Then, on March 6th, the DCA Board held a meeting where they listened to people's concerns about the closure of the preschool.

Claiter says that they had received two days' notice for that meeting.

"I think that they only held this meeting [on the 6th], because everyone was in an uproar. Like I said, we had two days' notice, so then people with kids couldn't really organize babysitters. So, it wasn't like we had a huge turnout. We probably had about 50 people attend. We would've had more, but again we had two days' notice about this meeting," Claiter says.

According to Claiter, the Community Hall said that low enrolment was why they are shutting the preschool's doors.

But, Claiter says that when the Board of Directors was asked about enrolment at their meeting on the 6th, it came to light that's not the case.

"The four-year-old class has a waiting list," Claiter says. "The 3/4 class and the 3-year-old class, I think, there are five vacancies. Like, we still have five spots to fill, but that is a very normal area to be in at March. Because we have a very early registration compared to other preschools. It's in January, so a lot of people are still registering their kids, because it's only March."

Class sizes at the DeWinton preschool are generally around 12-14 students per class.

On the DeWinton Community Association website, the page where they provide information on their preschool is currently several years behind, informing people that the preschool is currently accepting registration for the 2020-2021 school year.

After that meeting, the Board of Directors for the DCA said they will take the information they received during their March 6th meeting and reconvene on Tuesday March 12th, where they will reexamine their decision to close the school.

Once an announcement about the preschool has been made, we will provide an update.

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