2017 Annual Report


Ark Preschool’s 2017 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. Ark Preschool is grateful to continue to pay just $1.00 per year for rent, however, due to the rising costs of utilities, especially water, the amount paid for our share of these expenses has increased from $900.00 per year to $3,000.00 per year. 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, The Pfund Family Foundation, The Arp Family Foundation, and 31 individual donations; all of which were unrestricted and were used for operational costs. We also received proceeds from a Candy for Kids fundraiser that was used for staff salaries. This fundraiser also brought in 18 books that had been requested by the Ark Preschool staff. Restricted grants were received from: Monsanto which paid for the cost of the bus on a field trip to the Crocker Art Museum, The Biberstein Social Action Fund for a listening station and equipment including new technology the children can use to listen to audio books and use for math and language arts activities, The Kiwanis Club of Woodland which paid for new toys and equipment for the sandbox, First 5 Yolo to fund the music and art program through a special projects grant, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation which paid 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 USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The Yolo County 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: books for Christmas gifts for each child from individual donations, 24 handmade stockings with educational supplies from the Woodland United Methodist Church Quilt Group, 24 pairs of slippers from First Northern Bank Employees, and 24 handmade gift bags that were sewn by 2 volunteers for the children.

In 2017, 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, 2017 through May 26, 2017 working 30 hours per week and from August 29, 2017 through December 31, 2017 working 23.5 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, 2017 through May 26, 2017 working 40 hours per week and from August 29, 2017 through December 31, 2017 working 31 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, 2017 through May 26, 2017 working 22 hours per week and from August 29, 2017 through December 31, 2017 working 24 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 40% 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, 2017 through May 26, 2017 working 31 hours per week and from August 29, 2017 through December 31, 2017 working 29.5 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 language arts & math part of the day and as the school’s administrator part 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 28 hours for the year on Thursday mornings helping out with the Kids’ Farmers’ Market. Dolores Drummond volunteered for 51 hours helping out with the Kids’ Farmers’ Market.  Carol Conley volunteered for 20.5 hours helping out with the Crocker Art Museum’s Artist To Go Program. Danielle Bradford, a student at Yuba College, volunteered for 34.5 hours through the California Mentor Teacher Program. Four Cristo Rey High School students volunteered weekly for a total of 535 hours from January through May. Four Cristo Rey High School students volunteered weekly for a total of 352.5 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 2017. We have 8 volunteer Board Members who meet quarterly. Sarah Smith, the Executive Director documented her volunteer hours beginning in August 2017 for a total of 176 hours in the fall & winter of 2017. Volunteer hours for the 2017 year collectively were over 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 2016-2017 school year on January 11, 2017 and ended on May 26, 2017. Ark Preschool began its 2017-2018 school year on September 5, 2017. Ark Preschool took the following vacations in 2017 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), Spring Break (1 week), one teacher in-service day, one parent-teacher conference day, Labor Day (1 day), Veteran’s Day (2 days), Thanksgiving Break (1 week), and Christmas Break (2 ½ weeks).

Ark Preschool maintained the ability to enroll all 24 children in the full day program and operated at full capacity while maintaining a wait list. From January to May 2017, our daily attendance averaged 21 children. From September to December 2017, our daily attendance averaged 20 children. Ark Preschool was open from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday from January through May. Ark Preschool reduced hours for the 2017-2018 school and was open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm and on Wednesday from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. Reimbursable CACFP meals served in 2017 included: 3,232 morning snacks, 3,136 lunches, and 2,472 afternoon snacks. All meals were prepared and served according to state and federal nutritional, and health and safety guidelines. Ark Preschool serves mostly organic foods and mostly fresh fruits and vegetables.

Ark Preschool provided all families in our program a Parent Survey. Surveys were handed out in March 2017 and November 2017. The survey covers all aspects of our program and is available in both English and Spanish. In both March 2017 and November 2017, there were 50 questions per survey. In March, all 24 of the 24 families enrolled at the time responded to the surveys. In November, 22 of the 24 families enrolled at the time responded to the survey. The two families that did not complete the surveys were not comfortable completing a survey as their children were just starting school at the time of the survey. In total, for both time periods surveyed, this yielded a total of 2,300 responses. A total of 17 (or 0.7%) of the responses were negative. An additional 4, or 0.3%, of the responses were answered indicating “sometimes”. All of the negative responses were from the November 2017 survey. One parent expressed concerns about the exit doors from the church being left unlocked. This issue was addressed with specific parents and also in general in the parent newsletter. In addition, for increased safety and security of the building, the church installed camera’s in the hallways that the church’s secretary monitors. Other parents reported a variety of issues such as being concerned about their child’s ability to write their name or that their child doesn’t understand the connection between exercise and a healthy active lifestyle. There were 12 comments of concerns in total. In particular, one family’s concerns had to do with the aggressive behaviors that another child exhibited while at school. Prior to the survey, two parents expressed their concerns about that child’s aggressive behavior during individual conversations with the Executive Director. As a result, we hosted a parent meeting and invited all of the parents to discuss their concerns about the aggressive behaviors exhibited by the child. This meeting was held on October 18, 2017 and was attended by the parents of the child who exhibited these aggressive behaviors as well as parents (or grandparent in one case) representing 6 other children. It was an open forum where parents could express their concerns and discuss potential solutions. As a result of this parent meeting, several ideas were generated. The following week, all parents were given a second copy the Ark Preschool Discipline Policies (which was initially distributed in the Parent Handbook when parents enroll their child.) Ark Preschool also provided them with The Apology Process and the Class Meeting Protocol used by teachers, both of which are addressed in the Parent Handbook. Parents were also provided with a handout that outlined ideas and activities for children exhibiting aggressive behaviors and that help parents to deal with children with these challenging behaviors. It addressed how parents can contribute to create an inclusive community. One parent contacted Licensing to report their concern about this child’s aggressive behavior. Licensing visited the site, interviewed and observed the children and staff, and conducted an investigation into the parent’s concern. Ark Preschool and licensing worked cooperatively to resolve the concern. Ark Preschool submitted a written behavior plan which licensing accepted. No fines were levied and the issue was cleared. Ark Preschool’s teachers addressed the children’s needs in multiple ways including continuing to work with the Woodland Joint Unified School District by utilizing the Individualized Preschool Assessment Team Process to assess children’s challenges and make necessary changes for all of the children in the school to thrive. The child who began the 2017-2018 school year exhibiting these aggressive behaviors remained at Ark Preschool for the entire year and made positive progress throughout the school year.

Overall, 2,279, or 99.08%, of the responses were positive. In March 2017, there were 33 positive comments included on the Parent Surveys and in November 2017, there were an astounding 41 positive comment! Some of these comments were:
I am truly satisfied with this program. I have seen my daughter’s progress in so many things. She wakes up every morning ready and excited to go to school and this makes me happy as a parent. I’m satisfied with all the staff. Excellent program!”
“I really like how all the teachers have a lot of feedback to say about my daughter and find solutions for any obstacles she may be having. It shows that they really care.”
“My daughter has always been very social but now she is more communicative and has respect for other people’s spaces. Very pleased.”
“Really like that the fun bag gives me ideas of what she is learning in school and really since one on one time with my daughter.”
“We appreciate the help and understanding all the teachers have had with (child’s name) and hope to continue positive improvement.
“We are very happy with Ark Preschool. This is my son’s 2nd year here and he really likes it.” “Following the school’s district calendar is a wise move! Thanks!”
“I feel pleased with the balance given to my child when it come to education & free time.”
“(my child) really enjoys the Music Matt program. We are very pleased.”
“My child is making great progress in enjoying reading time by learning the sounds in language.”
“I am most pleased by the way my daughter’s attitude has changed. She has found a better way to ask for things and she shares more.”
“I am very grateful (child’s name) has the opportunity to be at such a wonderful preschool with such loving/caring teachers. Since he has attended, he has learned a lot of ways to take time to cool down when getting upset. I appreciate all of you for having the patience with (child’s name) while he is dealing with the transition in his life. Thank 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 class meetings, problem solving tool box, Bible stories, a newly designed calm-down corner. These are cross-referenced with the California Preschool Learning Foundations (CPLF). These CPLF are similar to the elementary school’s academic standards. The CPLF 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 CPLF. 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 13 students matriculated to Kindergarten. Only 1 of these students did not attend at least 80% of the time. All 13 students met the goal by mastering 80% or more of the Kindergarten readiness skills. One student was already enrolled in speech therapy through the Woodland Joint Unified School District and had been in attendance at Ark Preschool last year. Another student had been in speech therapy through the Woodland Joint Unified School District at Ark Preschool last year but progressed and no longer required these additional services. One other student was identified immediately as needing extra support for social & emotional development. That student was referred for behavioral therapy as well as assessments through the Woodland Joint Unified School District. Ark Preschool’s Director, Sarah Smith, followed up throughout the year with the parents of this student. The student did have an assessment and IEP meeting in January 2017 but did not qualify for services at that time.

All 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 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years. The table includes the data for all of the students who matriculated to Kindergarten this year. For the both years, we taught and tracked 153 skills in total. 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.




2016-2017 School Year
2017-2018 School Year

# of  skills taught & tracked
% of children who mastered 80% of skills
% of total skills mastered
# of skills taught & tracked
% of children who mastered 80% of skills
% of total skills mastered
Social/Emotional
11
100%
97%
11
84.6%
93.7%
Gross Motor/P.E.
19
100%
100%
19
100%
99.2%
Nutrition/Safety/Health
13
54%
87.2%
13
100%
100%
Language Arts
18
89%
93%
18
84.6%
91.9%
Math
20
100%
96%
20
92.3%
91.9%
Science
21
100%
99%
21
100%
100%
Music
9
100%
97.5%
9
100%
99.1%
Drama & Dance
12
100%
98%
12
100%
98.7%
Creative Arts & Blocks
16
100%
98%
16
92.3%
94.7%
Social Studies & History
14
89%
95%
14
100%
94.7%
All skills were aligned to the California Preschool Learning Foundations in 2016. Language Arts includes skills in Listening & Speaking and Reading & Writing. Science includes skills in 5 categories including Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth Science, as well as skills specific to Scientific Inquiry & Observation.






We continue to 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. This year, most of the children had attended preschool the previous year, so they had a good knowledge base from which to build. We were also fortunate enough to retain all of the students from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. 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, Nugget Market, The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Beamer Park, The Woodland Public Library Rose Garden, Trick or Treating at 3 buildings close to the school, and The Woodland Post Office.  We maintained a children’s vegetable, sensory, and herb gardens; all for educational purposes.

Ark Preschool continued collaborations with 24 local agencies for our general operation. Children are referred from Fourth and Hope, Yolo Crisis Nursery, Empower Yolo (Yolo Family Resource Center), Help Me Grow, Yolo County Foster Kinship Care, 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 operates the Resource and Referral for Yolo County and coordinates the annual Yolo County Child Care Conference and provides occasional workshops for early childhood care educators. 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 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 over 5 pounds of fresh produce for each child every week through 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 also continues to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) which provides reimbursement for the snacks and meals Ark Preschool provides. All Children at Ark Preschool receive a highly nutritious lunch and 2 highly nutritious snacks daily. We serve organic milk and mostly organic foods and mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. All meals and snacks meet or exceed the USDA guidelines for nutrition and health for children ages 3-5. Ark Preschool’s Executive Director has maintained membership to NAEYC and CAEYC.

In addition, we have 3 new collaborations. Ark preschool’s executive director, Sarah Smith, became a certified mentor teacher through the California Early Childhood Mentor Program which pairs up an aspiring preschool teacher who is enrolled in Child Development or Early Childhood Education coursework in college with high-quality programs and experienced teachers in early childhood programs. Both the school and the teacher have to meet high quality guidelines to be able to be a part of this program. Evaluations and interviews were done in April and May 2017. The second new collaboration is the reestablishment of a previous relationship with a statewide organization known now as Quality Counts California (also known as Quality Rating and Improvement System QRIS). Ark Preschool participated in the QRIS program previously and this year, we reestablished a partnership. This program ensures that the children in California have access to high quality early childhood education programs so that they thrive in their early learning settings and are better prepared to succeed in Kindergarten and beyond. The program focuses on three key areas of program quality: child development and readiness for school; teachers and teaching; and program & environment quality. Quality Counts also promotes and provides professional development for the preschool’s teachers through workshops, trainings, and personalized coaching for the preschool site. The third new collaboration is with the Preschool SHINE (Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise) Program. This is a national recognition and coaching program that showcases preschool programs that excel in promoting the health and well-being of children. This program also offers personalized coaching for Ark Preschool as well as access to many resources that promote nutrition education and healthy lifestyles for children and their families.

(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 2018 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 2017 financial reports which were reviewed by the Board of Directors at each of their quarterly meetings.  

012. Debbie Gilbert submitted the financial reports to Todd Montgomery, CPA, who reviewed all the financial information and filed 2017 taxes.

Annual Report prepared by Ark Preschool Executive Director Sarah Smith.