Early Childhood Education

The Shaker Heights City Schools District offers two distinctive, high-quality preschool programs designed to meet any family’s needs. 

Shaker's First Class

Shaker's First Class is the only preschool program in the state of Ohio to incorporate the prestigious International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme philosophy with continuation in K-12. Shaker’s First Class offers two full-day Pre-K classes for children beginning at age 3 through a two-year cohort. The program is housed and supported in two school buildings — Mercer Elementary and Onaway Elementary — and serves the entire District.

Community Partners
The District has sought additional support and funding to help students in the Shaker First Class Program develop their social/emotional skills as well as their early literacy skills. Some of the organizations we have formed partnerships with are: Family Connections, Hannah Perkins and Shaker’s Inclusion PreK Program.
Family Field Trips and Experiences
Children will explore their world with the support of parents and siblings during field trips and opportunies outside the classroom. Outings to University Circle museums, nature centers and other local organizations coordinate with units of inquiry and the appropriate developmental level of the children. The Shaker Heights PreK teachers will also provide two events yearly to help parents learn about the inquiry process in PreK and general best practices for children ages 3 to 5.

Cultural Competency and Relationship Building
The program’s experiences and supports help students and their families understand the rich diversity in our community at an earlier age. When the students from the program enter kindergarten, they will benefit from the relationships they’ve cultivated with children and families whose backgrounds and life experiences are different. 
Families who are selected through the enrollment process must provide a non-refundable down payment of $500 to secure one of the 32 spots (16 per building).

Tuition is $8,000 per school year for a five-day, full-day program from 9:15 a.m. – 3:25 p.m. Need-based scholarships will be available through private donors and foundations.
Enrollment requirements for the program are:
  • Child must be age 3 by September 30 following the start of the program
  • Child must be toilet-trained
  • Families must commit to the program for the two-year duration
  • Participation in family field trips, where families and students attend local outings together
Shaker's First Class Play Dates 
If you'd like your child to be considered for the program, please plan to attend one of the following play dates (RSVP is required):
  • Thursday, November 2, 10-11 a.m. at Onaway
  • Friday, November 3, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Onaway
  • Saturday, November 4, from 9-10 a.m. at Mercer 
For more information about Shaker's First Class or to RSVP for a play date, call 216-295-4263 or emailing krevinko_t@shaker.org. A Parent Questionnaire/Interest Form, must also be filled out and submitted prior to the play date. The interest form should be returned to the attention of Cathy Mitro at the Shaker Heights Schools Administration Building, 15600 Parkland Drive.

PreK Early Intervention Program

The Shaker Heights PreK Early Intervention Program is a well-established blended learning environment that includes both children who display delayed development and children who serve as peer models. The program is seeking peer models ages 3-5 to participate in the District’s early intervention preschool program for the next school year! Peer models are an essential part of the success of the program. Peer models demonstrate age-typical language, play and social skills that serve as models for the children with special needs.
Our program meets Monday through Thursday, and children attend either the morning or afternoon session for 2 ½ hours. The curriculum supports the individual needs of each child and is designed around International Baccalaureate units of inquiry which align with the Ohio Early Learning Content Standards. Instruction is developmentally appropriate and builds on the strengths of each student while responding to areas that need development.

Please click here for more information or contact Noreen Smyth-Morrow at (216) 295-4090.

Enrollment requirements for the program are:

  • Child must be 3 to 5 years old by September 30 following the start of the program.
  • Child must have good language, social and play skills.
  • Child must be toilet-trained.
  • Families must be residents of Shaker Heights.
  • Families must provide transportation for their child.
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