We sat down with Director of Early Childhood Education, Dr. March, to learn more about what sets SLPS apart. Keep reading to find out about her hopes and dreams for ECE this year.
Dr. Samantha March was born and raised in the City of Saint Louis. She graduated from Clayton High School in 2003, after spending her educational career in the Clayton School District. Dr. March has an undergraduate degree and certification in Early Childhood Education from the University of Missouri- Saint Louis and a masters and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Maryville University. Dr. March is an Early Childhood Education Enthusiast specializing in learning through play with an emphasis in literacy. She strives daily to make an intentional impact, through limitless learning by connecting community. As a servant leader, Dr. March firmly believes all children deserve the best educational opportunities available and considers serving the youngest most vulnerable in our community to be a lifelong commitment.
How long have you been with the District? What has your experience been like?
I have been with the Saint Louis Public School District for 10 years. My experience has been great. I have taught some awesome students, engaged with wonderful families, collaborated with excellent colleagues, worked for great supervisors and have had fun learning so much along the way.
What is your favorite memory since working in ECE?
My favorite memory as an educator was leading the annual kindergarten transition event at Ford Elementary. Every year parents and guardians would come to the school and receive information about the importance of early childhood education, learn about the next grade and participate in activities from the Magic House with their kiddo.
My favorite memory as an administrator is working with the Creative Literacy Spaces Professional Development Project. It’s nice to witness the teachers’ learning experiences and the classroom transitions as they infused literacy into their learning environment.
What do you want people to know about ECE in SLPS? What makes it unique?
SLPS provides residents of the St. Louis City region with high quality early childhood education through the Pre-Kindergarten Program. The SLPS Pre-Kindergarten Program is very comprehensive, unique and robust. There are several different program services that identify and meet the needs of young learners in their early years. The program has been designed to celebrate student development and target areas of growth. This ensures young learners have a strong academic foundation and are set up for educational success early. Our ECE program is different from others in that we offer full day, high quality instruction at no cost to families residing in the City of Saint Louis. Students also have access to transportation to and from school and kid friendly, nutritious breakfast and lunch at no charge.All classroom teachers have knowledge of Early Childhood pedagogy and receive continuous professional learning on best practices.
What are your hopes for ECE in 2022?
My hope for the current school year is to safely provide in person instruction to all scholars in a positive environment and support educators in doing so. While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges, it has also given us an opportunity to update antiquated systems, processes and structures.