3 children’s programs operate at former Kane school

The Chestnut Street Elementary School may be closed, but it still is serving children in the Kane School District.Three separate children’s programs are operating at the former school in Kane. The rent charged for the space is helping the school district cover utility and maintenance costs on what otherwise would be an empty building.The school closed following the 2009-10 school year. The new Kane Elementary School opened in September 2010.Although the Chestnut Street school no longer has classes, it still is bustling with children.The three children’s programs at the Chestnut Street school include:*The “Early Intervention” program for infants, toddlers and pre-school children who have special needs due to developmental issues or disabilities.This program is under the Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit 9 (IU-9), a consortium that includes Kane and other area school districts.*The “Head Start” program for pre-school children, primarily from low-income families.“Head Start” is under the Northern Tier Community Action Program and is funded, in part, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.*The “KIDS After School Program (KASP),” which provides a safe, structured and supervised environment for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.KASP is a division of the Kane Intergenerational Day Care Service (K.I.D.S.) at The Lutheran Home at Kane.The three children’s programs held a joint “open house” Wednesday evening at the former school on Chestnut Street. According to Steve Perry, business manager for the school district, IU-9 is renting its space in the former Chestnut Street school for about $19,200 per year. This includes $3,950 for “in-kind services” offered to the Kane School District for certain IU-9 programs.Head Start is paying the school district $1,600 per month for its space in the former school building, Perry said. KASP pays $200 per month for its space, Perry said.Combined, the three children’s programs are paying the district about $40,000 per year for space in the former school, Perry said. He said the rent includes utilities and maintenance. The district has hired a part-time custodian to handle maintenance in the former school.The “Early Intervention” program has two divisions—one for children from “birth” to age 3 and one for 3 and 4-year-olds who are pre-school boys and girls.See full article by purchasing the Oct. 28 edition of The Kane Republican.