About the Preschool Program

Since 1987, The Lebanon School District's Preschool Program has served children ages three through five.

Hosted at Mt. Lebanon School and Hanover Street School, the Beginnings Preschool program involves children in a rich social atmosphere with many language opportunities. The children participate in a theme and literacy based program with songs, finger plays, a book-look time, imaginary play, art projects and small and large muscle activities. 

At each school, the Beginnings Preschool has two sessions for children, one for 3 year olds and one for 4 year olds. Each year in February there is a drawing for the selection of children. All age-appropriate children residing in the Lebanon School District are eligible to apply. Parents serve as "helping parents" in the classroom, lending extra help to the class.  The parents of the children without disabilities provide their own transportation and also pay tuition.  Support staff and a school nurse are on site to lend the needed support for all children.

Current research validates the critical importance of early education for young children. According to a 1994 study done by the Carnegie Corporation Task Force on Learning, it was "estimated that every dollar invested in the preschool program returned seven dollars that otherwise would have gone for other services". Through a variety of options and settings the Preschool Program supports young children with quality learning experiences. This in turn supports and strengthens our community as a whole. Please stop by and visit us at your convenience.!

A Day in Our Classroom

Arrival to School

The classroom paraprofessional shall be waiting at the main entrance door to let parents into the building during drop off time.  She will then gather the children in the lobby and escort them to the classroom.  If arriving late to school, you must utilize the buzzer near the front door to be let into the school.  Please sign in at the front office and retrieve a visitor badge.  You may then walk your child to our classroom.   


Creative Choice

Upon arrival, the children are given time to independently explore the classroom environment.  This time allows them to play independently or have social interactions with their classmates, affording friendships to blossom.


Clean Up

Having children participate in cleaning up the classroom is an important part of a young child’s development, which promoting a sense of responsibility.  Learning how to take care of one’s self, others, and the learning environment, helps children gain a sense of independence and belonging.  Throughout your child’s preschool experience, there shall be transitional periods which include clean up.  This is typically executed through the use of a song and adult modeling/participation.  We encourage this method being utilized in the home environment as well, maintaining home/school management consistencies.


Group Circle Time

Group circle is a special time for us to all come together as a class to begin our day and participate in large group learning activities.  We will begin our circle with a Good Morning Hello Song to welcome each child to school.  We will also begin to talk about the

weather by singing our Weather Watcher song.  Each day a theme based book and song will be introduced to the children, allowing us to make important connections between literature, life, and learning.  During our circle, we will also take a moment to describe the learning centers offered for exploration.  A quick review of the day’s schedule will also allow the children to prepare for the routine transitions that take place.  As the year progresses and interests arise, we may begin to introduce the days of the week, calendar and further circle concepts.


Organized Learning Centers  

After our group circle time, children will be able to choose to participate in a variety of organized learning centers.  These learning centers can be in large or small groups and allow your child to expand and develop their motor skills, cognition, social interaction, language skills, self-help and problem solving skills.  It also allows for the teachers to learn more about your child, their development, and their strengths and areas in need of further development.


Snack time is another opportunity for your child to develop self-help skills and promote social interactions.  Snack shall be served between 10:00-10:15 each morning and 1:45-2:00 each afternoon.  The children are welcome to enjoy the snack choice of the day, but may choose to participate in book look time if they are not interested in snack.  If your child has specific dietary needs, please speak with a classroom teacher and accommodations shall be made. 



The children are brought to the bathroom throughout the session to allow the children the opportunity to use the toilet.  They may also request to use the toilet at any time.  If your child is in pull-ups, we typically will change them standing.  Please chat with us if your child is currently toilet training, or you have a desire to begin toilet training and we shall work on it together.  During each trip to the bathroom, the children will be asked if they would like to try to sit on or stand in front of the toilet.  We encourage all of the children to try, but understand when a child does not want to.  We desire to have open communication about how your child is progressing in this area so that he or she does not receive mixed messages.


Outdoor play

The children will have outside time each day, weather permitting.  Playing outside allows the children to engage in large motor activities, as well as age-appropriate physical challenges that allow the teachers to evaluate the progress of the children’s growing abilities.  Climbing, jumping, running, or swinging all contributes to strengthening your child’s coordination and balance.  Outside play also allows the children to focus all that energy into positive actions where they can enjoy age-appropriate strenuous physical activity.  Along with the physical benefits of outside play, the children also have the opportunity to engage in social interactions with peers, as well as working on fine motor skills through simple activities such as writing with sidewalk chalk or collecting treasures.



Departure brings closure to the day.  Parents shall pick up their children on the playground/designated outside play space or in the main lobby during inclement weather conditions.  Pick up time allows you to touch base with the classroom teacher if you have any questions or information to share. 

Meet Our Preschool Teachers

 Jena VanStelten

A teaching member of the Hanover Street School, my name is Jena VanStelten and it is my pleasure to take a moment to introduce myself.  First and foremost, it is a privilege to be working with the children and families of the Lebanon School District, in particular the Preschool Program which has been impressively serving children since 1987.

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with certification Pre-K through 3rd grade at Colby Sawyer College, located down the road in New London.  Prior to accepting a teaching position here at HSS, I had the pleasure of working for an early childhood program located on a college campus for twelve years. This opportunity provided me with many years of preschool teaching experience with my last half dozen of years spent as the Special Education Program Coordinator.  While at Rivier College, I obtained a Master’s degree in Learning Disabilities and General Special Education, while also completing the Certification program for a School Principal.

Inclusive education of young children is near and dear to my heart, and is paramount in paving the way toward a solid school foundation.  We construct a building from the ground up; therefore by championing the education of young children, we afford them the advantage of participating in enriching preschool experiences early on in life.

Each exciting day brings with it abundant joy and wonderful experiences that we all have the pleasure of sharing together.  It is a delight getting to know families and children, as together we may embark on a year full of adventure, learning, and discovery.

Rosanna Kerin

Jennifer Vickers

Heather Hansen