Annual Report

Ark Preschool’s 2018 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 and for our share of these utility expenses of $3,000.00 per year. We continued all our insurance with Wraith, Scarlett & Randolph Insurance Services, INC. We maintained our state license, 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 First Northern Bank, The George and Lena Valente Foundation, The Beneto Foundation, O’Hearn Revocable Trust, Harrison Revocable Trust, The Pfund Family Foundation, The Arp Family Foundation, The Kelly Foundation, and donations from 49 individual donors; all of which were unrestricted and were used for operational costs. Restricted grants were received from: Kiwanis of Woodland which paid for the PE Equipment, Outdoor Equipment, and repairs to a dollhouse; and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Community Fund which pays for program delivery, staff development, and the music and art enhancement programs through the Crocker Art Museum’s Artist to Go Program and the Music Matt Program. 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 Children’s Farmers’ Market. We received donations of goods including: books for Christmas gifts for each child from individual donations, 24 pairs of slippers from First Northern Bank Employees, funds to purchase gifts for each child for Christmas, and 24 handmade gift bags that were sewn by 2 volunteers for the children.

In 2018, we employed Elizabeth Brady, Indira Lara, Crystal Hernandez, Jennifer Heath, and Sarah Smith. We hired Itzel Vega Ramirez and Kathleen Rominger as substitute teachers in the fall of 2018. Elizabeth Brady was employed as a master teacher. She was employed from January 1, 2018 through February 23, 2018, working 23.5 hours per week. Elizabeth was responsible for teaching language arts, math, and physical education. Indira Lara was employed as an Assistant Teacher. She was employed from January 1, 2018 through May 25, 2018 working 31 hours per week and from August 27, 2018 through December 31, 2018 working 32 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, 2018 through May 25, 2018 working 34 hours per week and from August 27, 2018 through December 31, 2018 working 36.5 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. Jennifer Heath was employed as a Teacher. She was employed from January 1, 2018 through May 25, 2018 working 34 hours per week and from August 27, 2018 through December 31, 2018 working 37 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.  Debbie Gilbert of Bookkeeping Etc. continued to serve as our bookkeeper. Todd Montgomery, a CPA, did an annual accounting of our books and filed our taxes pro bono. Both Itzel Vega Ramirez and Kathleen Rominger worked in 2018 as substitute teachers. Their work hours and days varied as the position was on call, depending on the school’s needs. 

Dolores Drummond volunteered 32.25 hours for the spring of 2018 on Tuesday mornings helping out with the Children’s Farmers’ Market. Carol Conley volunteered for 26 hours helping out with the Crocker Art Museum’s Artist To Go Program. Krista Higgins, a college student at Woodland Community College, volunteered for 98 hours through the California Mentor Teacher Program. Itzel Vega Ramirez worked as a volunteer through the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) through RISE, Inc., for a total of 300 hours in the spring of 2018. Four Cristo Rey High School students volunteered weekly for a total of 513 hours from January through May. Four Cristo Rey High School students volunteered weekly for a total of 391.25 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 2018. We have 7-8 volunteer Board Members who meet quarterly. Sarah Smith, the Executive Director documented her volunteer hours in 2018 for a total of 361.5 hours. Volunteer hours for the 2018 year collectively were over 1800 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 2017-2018 school year on January 10, 2018 and ended on May 25, 2018. Ark Preschool began its 2018-2019 school year on September 4, 2018. Ark Preschool took the following vacations in 2018 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 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 2018, our daily attendance averaged just over 21 children. From September to December 2018, our daily attendance averaged jut over 21 children. Ark Preschool was open from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm on Wednesday during the days school was in session. Reimbursable CACFP meals served in 2018 included: 3,333 morning snacks, 3,244 lunches, and 2,271 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 2018 and November 2018. The survey covers all aspects of our program and is available in both English and Spanish. In both March 2018 and November 2018, there were 50 questions per survey. In March, 24 of the 24 families enrolled at the time responded to the surveys. In November, 23 of the 24 families enrolled at the time responded to the survey. One family had just left at the end of October before the surveys were passed out as they moved out of town and the student that enrolled from the waitlist had not attended long enough to complete the survey as they just started in November. In total, for both time periods surveyed, this yielded a total of 2,350 responses. A total of 11 (or .47%) of the responses were negative. All of the negative responses were from the November 2018 survey. One parent expressed concerns that their child did not yet know how to write their name and that their child had a hard time sitting down long enough to work with the Take Home Fun Bags. Another parent suggested the survey questions were over the age of preschool children. A third parent expressed discomfort with the tardy drop-off/late pick-up policy at Ark Preschool. 

Overall, 2,339, or 99.5%, of the responses were positive. In March 2018, there were 33 positive comments included on the Parent Surveys and in November 2018, there were 29 positive comments! Some of these comments were: 
“(My child) is very excited to show me his art work & enjoys Music Matt.”
“Staff has assisted wonderfully with some minor behavior concerns and (my child) is doing very well now.”
“The newsletter lets me know what (my child) is learning about because sometimes she doesn’t tell me.)”
“When (my child) first started Ark, it was very difficult to leave because he would scream & cry for me, but within a week’s time, he had adjusted so well that I would have to remind him about giving mom a hug and kiss. This makes me feel very comfortable leaving him in Ark’s care.”
“The teachers at Ark have been extremely helpful with (my child’s) Lifeskills. It has been very helpful to have updates and strategies to help (my child) in areas he is still working on.”
“This continues to be an excellent program. We are happy & satisfied. We will keep (child) in this program another year. Thank you to all the teachers for being amazingJYou Guys Rock!”
“The communication between the teachers and I is very comfortable with each other. They listen to my concerns when I have them.”
“The take home bags are a great way for some one on one time with each other or the whole family to enjoy the time.”
“I am so happy and impressed with the progress (my child) has made during this last part of the year. Between all of the great teachers and working at home on his issues, I feel he has come a long way. Very happy with (my child’s) progress.” 
“I love the fact that the children write to each other in the form of a pen pal.”
“Great school. Very educational and caring. (My child) is always learning new things and always has a positive story to share when he comes home from school. I love the staff and their dedication to these children. This is a wonderful group of ladies that never cease to amaze me.”

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 all families. 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 14 students matriculated to Kindergarten and only 3 of these students did not attend at least 80% of the time. All 14 students met the goal of mastering 80% or more of all 155 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. This year, we had 11 students attend our program for the 2ndyear as they continued their preschool education. The other 3 students had no other preschool experience.  

The following table provides data on the skills taught and tracked and the percentage of mastery for each content area from the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years. The table includes the data for all 14 studentswho matriculated to Kindergarten this year. This year, we taught and tracked 155 skills in total. All of the children showed phenomenal 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. 



2017-2018 School Year
2018-2019

# 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
84.6%
93.7%
11
100%
98%
Gross Motor/P.E.
19
100%
99.2%
19
100%
99.6%
Nutrition/Safety/Health
13
100%
100%
13
92.9%
91.8%
Language Arts
18
84.6%
91.9%
20
100%
95%
Math
20
92.3%
91.9%
20
100%
97.1%
Science 
21
100%
100%
21
100%
90.5%
Music
9
100%
99.1%
9
92.9%
96.8%
Drama & Dance
12
100%
98.7%
12
100%
98.8%
Creative Arts & Blocks
16
92.3%
94.7%
16
100%
100%
Social Studies & History
14
100%
94.7%
14
92.9%
98%
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 never would assume to take full credit. This year, the majority of the students attended our program for the 2ndyear, so they already had exposure to a high-quality preschool program as 3&4 year olds. All 14 students also attended from the beginning of the year through the end, so there were no gaps in their educational time. Although 3 of the 14 students did not meet the criteria of attending school 80% of the time, this did not significantly affect their academic successes as they attended over 70% of the time. We had some children from well functioning families and other 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.

All staff attended CACFP training and Sarah Smith and Crystal Hernandez completed required on-line courses regarding recordkeeping for CACFP. 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 school. We went on field trips to:  The Woodland Opera House to see 2 plays, Nugget Market, The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Farm Connection Day at the Yolo County Fair Grounds, 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, a sensory garden, and an herb garden all for educational purposes. 

Ark Preschool continued collaborations with 25 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 services 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 all of the children. We collaborate with the Yolo County Food Bank to provide over 5 pounds of fresh produce for each child every week through our own 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(IPAT), 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. Ark Preschool’s executive director, Sarah Smith, continued as 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. We continued our collaboration with Quality Counts California (also known as QualityRating and Improvement System QRIS). 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. We also continued our collaboration with the Preschool SHINE (ShapingHealthy 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. 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 9 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 5-year grant from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Community Fund. 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 participates as part of the Woodland Community College ECE Advisory Committee which meets twice each year to discuss curriculum for college students taking ECE courses at WCC. All of the staff are members of both the NAEYC and the 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 2019 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 2018 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 then prepared and filed 2018 taxes. 


Annual Report prepared by Ark Preschool Executive Director Sarah Smith.