Mountain View Voice

News - June 10, 2011

Preschool says goodbye and hello

by Nick Veronin

Families and children that have passed through the Los Altos Parent Preschool over the past 13 years showed up at the school's Los Altos High School campus for a final goodbye Sunday.

The preschool, which has been in the community in one form or another for more than 55 years, was notified late last year that its lease would be terminated this summer. The organization had trouble finding a new location that would allow it to offer the same low-cost tuition it has been known for since it was founded.

The preschool eventually found a new home at Covington Elementary School in Los Altos. With the move-out day of June 15 fast approaching, the preschool decided to hold a farewell day on June 6, so parents and children could come together "one last time" at the site, which had been the home of the preschool since 1998.

"It was a wonderful day," said Dara Tynefield, board president emeritus of the cooperative. Tynefield advocated strongly for the preschool to stay in its current location at multiple board meetings of the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District.

In the end, however, the district maintained that it needed the space occupied by the preschool for anticipated growths in its student body. Tynfield, who had been disappointed with the district's decision, said that everything ultimately worked out.

The Los Altos Parent Preschool secured a grant to help them move everything, including their jungle gym and other equipment, to the new location, about a mile south of Los Altos High School.

Even though the preschool will pay $25,000 per year for the space, $10,000 more than it paid for its quarters on the Los Altos High School campus, Tynefield said they plan to keep their enrollment fees the same, at least for the time being.

The preschool offers multiple programs for different age groups with tuition ranging from $1,900 to $3,600 annually.

The farewell party featured live music by the band Banish the Dogs, a jump house, commemorative T-shirts, ice cream sundaes. Parents, along with their children, painted decorative tiles that will be hung in the new Covington location.

"Everybody was really happy and really looking forward to the new location," Tynefield said. "I think everybody felt so comforted by the continuity."

The Los Altos Parent Preschool is currently accepting enrollment applications. More information about enrollment and the move to Covington can be found at www.lapp.coop.

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