2016 Annual Report


Ark Preschool’s 2016 Annual Report
A CA Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation

(a) (i) to fulfill our mission and philosophy of providing a high quality preschool experience to those in severe financial need, we have completed the following:

Ark Preschool continued its lease with Woodland United Methodist Church, which is written in such a way as to not need continual renewal, but will renew automatically unless an issue is raised. We continued all our insurance with Wraith, Scarlett & Randolph Insurance Services, INC. We maintained our state license, city permit, and fire code regulations, Red Cross certificates for health and safety, Adult, Child and Infant CPR & First Aid, completed Yolo County health requirement documents, renewed our contract with Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and maintained employee and student records. We operated according to California state licensing.

We received funding from The George and Lena Valente Foundation, The Beneto Foundation, O’Hearn Revocable Trust, Harrison Revocable Trust, Pfund Family Foundation, Delta Kappa Gamma Zeta Kappa Chapter, Yocha Dehe Wintun Academy, and 33 individual donations; all of which were unrestricted and were used for operational costs. Restricted grants were received from: The Woodland Sunrise Rotary for enhancement and upgrades to our toys and equipment, First 5 Yolo to fund the music and art program through a special projects grant,  and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation which is restricted to the salary of one full time teacher, approximately half of the cook’s salary, and approximately half of the executive director’s salary. We received reimbursement for most of our food costs from the federal USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The Yolo Food Bank provided over 5 pounds of fresh produce weekly to Ark Preschool for the children to take home to families free of charge through Ark Preschool’s Kids’ Farmers’ Market.  We received donations of goods including: some gently used books and toys from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 24 Christmas gifts valued at $30 each from Readers in the Hood, 2 used iMac Computers each with a keyboard and a mouse from Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, and 10 sheets from an individual donor that were sewn by volunteers into 18 rest mat sheets.

In 2016, we employed Elizabeth Brady, Indira Lara, Crystal Hernandez, Jennifer Heath, and Sarah Smith. Elizabeth Brady was employed as a master teacher. She was employed from January 1, 2016 through May 27, 2016 working 30 hours per week and from September 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 working 30 hours per week. Elizabeth is responsible for teaching language arts, math, and physical education. Elizabeth Brady was paid with funds from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Grant. Indira Lara was employed as an Assistant Teacher. She was employed from January 1, 2016 through May 27, 2016 working 40 hours per week and from September 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 working 40 hours per week. Indira is responsible for teaching science, music, drama, and dance. Crystal Hernandez was employed as an Associate Teacher. She was employed from January 1, 2016 through May 27, 2016 working 26 hours per week and from September 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 working 22 hours per week. Crystal’s primary role was cook. Crystal was also responsible for fine motor, nutrition, health, and safety curriculum, as well as bi-monthly cooking and craft projects, and weekly Chef of the Day. Approximately 50% of Crystal’s salary is paid with funds from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Grant. Jennifer Heath was employed as a Teacher. She was employed from January 1, 2016 through May 27, 2016 working 31.5 hours per week and from September 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 working 31 hours per week. Jennifer is responsible for teaching creative arts, blocks, history, and social science curriculum. Sarah Smith was employed as the executive director working 40 hours per week. Sarah is responsible for teaching part of the day and administrator the rest of the day.  Approximately 50% of Sarah’s salary is paid with funds from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation grant. Debbie Gilbert of Bookkeeping Etc. continued to serve as our bookkeeper. Maggie Smythe, a CPA, did an annual accounting of our books and filed our taxes pro bono.

All staff attended CACFP training and Sarah Smith and Crystal Hernandez completed required on-line courses regarding recordkeeping for CACFP. Mary Drummond volunteered 105.5 hours for the year on Mondays and Thursdays. Three Cristo Rey High School students volunteered weekly for a total of 418.5 hours from January through May. Four Cristo Rey High School students volunteered weekly for a total of 399.5 hours from August through December. Melissa Daley volunteered all of her time as the program’s mentor for an undocumented number of hours, and therefore, none of her hours are included in the total for 2016. We have 8 volunteer Board Members who meet quarterly. Volunteer hours for the 2016 year collectively were a minimum of 1200 hours. All volunteers assist staff with children’s activities and are always in the presence of staff, never alone with the children. All staff and classroom volunteers have on file all required state documents. We are grateful for all employees and volunteers for their valuable contributions.

Ark Preschool continued its 2015-2016 school year on January 11, 2016 and ended on May 27, 2016. Ark Preschool began its 2016-2017 school year on September 6, 2016. Ark Preschool took the following vacations in 2016 that closely align with the Woodland Joint Unified School District Calendar as a convenience for families: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday (1 day), Lincoln’s Birthday (1 day), Washington’s Birthday (1 day), Easter Monday (1 day), Spring Break (1 week), one teacher in-service day, one conference day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Break (1 week), and Christmas Break (2 ½ weeks). We maintained the ability to take all 24 children our full program. We have operated at full capacity since March 2016 and have maintained a wait list beginning in September 2016. From January to May 2016, our daily attendance averaged 20 children. From September to December 2016, our daily attendance averaged 21.5 children. Ark Preschool was open from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Reimbursable CACFP meals served in 2016 included: 3,300 morning snacks, 3,108 lunches, and 2,618 afternoon snacks. All meals were prepared and served according to state and federal nutritional, and health and safety guidelines. All food is purchased at Nugget Market in Woodland, CA. We serve mostly organic foods and mostly fresh fruits and vegetables.

We gave all 24 families in our program a survey. Surveys were handed out in March 2016 and November 2016. The survey covers all aspects of our program. In both March 2016 and November 2016, there were 50 questions per survey. Also, beginning in March 2016, we offered the survey available in either English or Spanish due to previous parent feedback. In March, all 24 of the 24 families enrolled at the time responded to the surveys. In November, 21 of the 24 families enrolled at the time responded to the survey. Of the 3 families that did not respond, one student was on medical leave and only attended 11 days prior to the survey, one student’s parents were given the survey, but the child did not return to school and the parents did not return the survey, and the last student’s parents were not comfortable completing a survey as their child was just starting school at the time of the survey. In total, for both time periods surveyed, this yielded a total of 2,250 responses. A total of 3, or 0.13%, of the responses were negative. An additional 5, or 0.22%, of the responses were unanswered indicating “sometimes” or “not sure”. Of the negative responses, one parent indicated “for some reason (child’s name)’s social interactions seem to be regressing. Some days he is fine, some days he is timid, but this may have to do with home life.” In the case of this particular child, he was attending Ark Preschool while in foster care and continued attending when reunited with his parents. The parent survey that the above comment was on was in March 2016, just one month after the reunification. Ark Preschool offered tips and advice about daily routines and consistency for his particular behavior challenges. For another of these negative responses, the parent commented, “I would like to get to know the teachers a bit better. I love the part of the newsletter dedicated to the teachers and helpers,” regarding the negative response to the question “do you fee comfortable talking about your child’s progress with the teachers?” The third negative response was from a parent indicating she didn’t feel her child had enough opportunity to listen to stories read by the staff. The parent was invited to observe the daily routine and was invited for a parent observation in the fall of 2016, but did not participate in either opportunity. Of the answers that were left blank, the parents wrote in either “sometimes” or “not sure”. These answers were all on surveys in November 2016 for students who were new to the preschool environment. Overall, 2,242, or 99.64%, of the responses were positive. There were a total of 62 positive comments made by 15 families. A few examples are: “I feel like the teachers go to the kid’s level to talk and explain things to them because they really want the kids to understand.” “I am pleased to see Ark Preschool is watching my son’s progress and taking action to improve areas of his education where he is lacking.” “I just love the program Ark Preschool offers. You guys really cover all areas, but most importantly, you guys do it with love.” “Ark Preschool goes beyond every other preschool I have seen. Thank you so much to all of the teachers.” “Love the (one-way) window for observing your child.” “I’m pleased about the home fun bag because when my child is ready to open it, she is so excited and happy that we are going to do it together.” “I really appreciate the handouts about community resources. Also, the ‘chores’ handout was very helpful.” “Staff & Teachers are doing an amazing job. I love having Ark Preschool as a part of my team in raising a respectful, honest, super smart, handsome boy. I appreciate you all.”

Ark Preschool’s curriculum consists of balanced, play based learning opportunities which nurture academic skills: language arts, math, science, music, creative art, social/emotional skills: Character Education through Lifeskills curriculum, and through numerous techniques such as Floortime, class meetings, problem solving tool box, Bible stories, and physical skills. These are cross-referenced with the California Preschool Learning Foundations. These Foundations are similar to the elementary school’s academic standards. The Foundations are a list of student behaviors and abilities deemed necessary for success in Kindergarten and beyond. We distributed weekly newsletters to families, available in English and Spanish. These newsletters provided information on class curriculum, activities that could be done at home to support learning at school, parenting skills information, information on free local parent education opportunities and free community services and events. We provided parent surveys twice a year and engaged in child development observations and assessments on an on-going basis.

Teachers observe and assess children’s growth throughout the year using the skills from the State of California’s Preschool Foundations. These skills are considered to be the readiness or prerequisite skills necessary to thrive in Kindergarten.  Our goal is for 100% of the students who attend preschool 80% of the time to achieve mastery of 80% of the skills. This year 12 students matriculated to Kindergarten. Three of these students did not attend at least 80% of the time. The remaining 9 out of 12 students met the goal by mastering 80% or more of the Kindergarten readiness skills.  Early on, we were concerned about the development of the 4 of the 12 students. One of the students was already enrolled in speech therapy through the Woodland Joint Unified School District and had been in attendance at Ark Preschool last year. The other 3 students were identified as potentially needing special services in September and were given referrals for further evaluation through the Woodland Joint Unified School District in October. Ark Preschool’s Director, Sarah Smith, followed up throughout the year with the parents of all 3 of these students. One student did have an assessment and IEP meeting in May 2017. Another student met our goal of mastering 80% of the skills taught & tracked. The final student only attended 63% of the time. All 4 of these students received differentiated and one on one instruction to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge while in attendance at Ark Preschool. The following table provides data on the skills taught and tracked and the percentage of mastery for each content area from the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years. The table includes the data for the students who attended 80% of the time. For the 2015-2016 school year, we taught and tracked a total of 128 skills, which was a 43% increase over the previous year. This year, we have increased this by another 20% and are now teaching & tracking 154 skills! All of the children showed excellent growth from the beginning of the year. When comparing the scores from last year to this year, we were able to maintain a high standard of excellence.


2015-2016 School Year
2016-2017  School Year

# of skills taught & tracked
% of children who mastered 80%  of skills
# of skills taught & tracked
% of children who mastered 80% skills
% of total skills mastered
Social/Emotional
10
75%
11
100%
97%
Gross Motor/P.E.
25
75%
19
100%
100%
Nutrition/Health/Safety
9
100%
13
54%
87.2%
Fine Motor
3
92%
n/a
n/a
n/a
Language Arts
16
83%
18
89%
93%
Math
13
83%
20
100%
96%
Science (Physical, Life, & Earth Sciences as well as Scientific Observation & Investigation)
21
92%
21
100%
99%
Music
4
83%
9
100%
97.5%
Drama & Dance
6
83%
12
100%
98%
Creative Art & Blocks
10
83%
16
100%
98%
Social Studies & History
11
100%
14
89%
95%
All skills were aligned to the California Preschool Learning Foundation categories. Many changes were made for the 2016-2017 year. Language Arts includes Listening & Speaking and Reading & Writing. Fine Motor was eliminated for the 2016-2017 year. There were 3 skills evaluated previously. They are now included elsewhere: One in P.E., one in Blocks, and one in Safety.
We believe that student progress is based primarily on 3 key factors: God given intellect/talent, quality of instruction, and home environment. Each plays a significant role in the child’s progress, so we don’t take full credit. We had a significant number of children this year who had never attended preschool previously. We also had significant turnover this year, compared to previous years, within the preschool population. We had some children from well functioning families, and some children whose families that had significant challenges this year. Through passion and insight, Ark Preschool celebrates the differences and gifts each child possesses and assists them in their continuing path of growth and discovery.

We followed the posted board-approved Daily Schedule. We took weekly walks to the Woodland Public Library and we took occasional nature walks within a two block radius of the church. We went on field trips to:  the Woodland Opera House to see 2 plays, Beamer Park, The Woodland Public Library Rose Garden, Trick or Treating at 3 buildings close to the school, Woodland Post Office, and the Woodland Fire Station #1.  We maintained a children’s vegetable and sensory garden and added an herb garden, all for educational purposes.

Ark Preschool continued collaborations with 20 local agencies for our general operation. Children are referred from Fourth and Hope, Yolo Crisis Nursery, Empower Yolo, Yolo Center for Families, and the D. Street Center for Families. We work with Yolo Family Service Agency to provide counseling for children with social/emotional needs. We also collaborate with the Yolo County Director’s Association to review best practices and trends in the field. We collaborate with Children’s Home Society, which took the place of Child Care Services with City of Davis, which is now no longer in existence. Children’s Home Society operates the Resource and Referral for Yolo County. We collaborate with UC Davis Extension to provide activities within a curriculum framework designed to teach healthy nutrition skills. We collaborate with Help Me Grow for resources available to families as well as a program to screen children for developmental progress and identify potential areas of concern. We collaborate with the Elks Club to provide vision screening for the children. We collaborate with Cristo Rey High School Sacramento and provide a student worker site for three to four of their students interested in the early childhood education field. We collaborate with the Woodland Public Library to provide story hour and literacy activities for the children. We collaborate with the Yolo County Food Bank to provide 120 pounds of fresh produce and materials each week for the Children’s Farmers Market. We also collaborate with the Woodland Joint Unified School District to provide professional screening and assessment for a variety of developmental needs (social/emotional, academic, physical). Through an Individualized Preschool Assessment Team, we evaluate data from the assessments and classroom observations to provide the needed support for children referred such as speech therapy or special needs tutor (which are provided on site), or even placement in special education preschool, if warranted. We also collaborate with the Yolo County Office of Education to provide assessments as needed to meet the individual needs of our students. We collaborate with ACE’s, a social network recognizing the impact of adverse childhood experiences in shaping a child’s adult behavior and health. All of these services and information are provided for free. We have continued our collaboration with the Crocker Art Museum, who provides art instruction to all children 18 times per school year. We have continued our collaboration with Music Matt who provides music instruction to all children every week. The children receive these outstanding experiences because of a 3 year grant from First 5 Yolo for music and art. Ark Preschool’s Executive Director has maintained membership to NAEYC and CAEYC.

(ii), (iii), (iv), (v) A detailed financial report provided by our bookkeeper, Debbie Gilbert is available. There has been no change in the primary funding source in the last fiscal year.

(vi) There has been no conflict of interest during the past year involving a Board Member or Employee of the corporation.

(vii) The capital and operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2017 is available.

(viii) There has been no merger consolidation, or dissolution of any program at Ark Preschool.

(ix) There has been no establishment of any new subsidiary or operating corporation.

(x)  Ark Preschool did not borrow any money or incur indebtedness.

(xi) There is nothing to report regarding section 6322 of the Nonprofit Corporation Law of California relating to insiders and indemnifications.

(b) Sarah Smith provided the financial information to Debbie Gilbert, an independent bookkeeper, who prepared the 2016 financial reports which were reviewed by the Board of Directors at each of their quarterly meetings.  

012. Debbie Gilbert submitted the financial reports to Maggie Smythe, CPA, who reviews all the financial information and will file our taxes.


Annual Report prepared by Ark Preschool Executive Director Sarah Smith.