Life sometimes give you opportunities to grow during times of challenges.
BY RYAN SPELTS
Hali was going through a divorce, was working 60+ hours a week at her previous business, and had children who needed preschool. Struggling to find a school that met her standards, she decided to sell her previous design business and to start a preschool. Her parents were both educators, and she knew she wanted to create something special that would not only be fun and exciting but would also be something that created great students as they advance.
This was not the first school she started. She was actually living in Mountain Green and opened three schools in Morgan County. When she met her current husband, she wanted to be closer to his work at Weber High, so she decided to sell the school and open Smarty Pants in Pleasant View.
The school’s focus is preparing students to succeed when they get to kindergarten and beyond. They use data to ensure effectiveness. In fact, they track students and know that 85% of their graduates rank in the top 10% of their future classes. Teachers get excited when they have a Smarty Pants Preschool graduate coming into their class, as they know they will be well-prepared.
The school puts students into teacher-guided learning pods of eight to 12 students based on their skill level, so students who may already be readers are not put in a group of students who are just learning their letters. Each teacher at the school is educated in early childhood education and is a licensed teacher. They also use data to drive curriculum choices as well as individual needs. Hali said it takes more time to make individual curriculum plans, but it makes a big difference in the students’ progress.
Although they take a scientific approach to curriculum development, they still teach with love, and kids love coming and learning. If you would like to enroll your child at Smarty Pants Preschool, you can check with them throughout the year, as openings pop up when people move. The enrollment is in January, and morning classes fill up within a couple of hours. Afternoon classes take a little longer, but they do fill up completely within time. Classes start with two-and-a-half-year-olds for discovery. Three-to-four-year-olds attend two times per week, and four- to five-year-olds attend three times per week. You can visit their website at smartypantspreeschoolutah.com for more details.