Local woman opening region’s 1st online preschool
LAPLACE — Tasha Johnson always knew teaching was in her blood. From the time she was a little girl, she would line up her baby dolls outside in the driveway and point to the side of the house with a yard stick as if it were a giant chalk board. Later on, she served nearly five years active duty in the military and earned the nickname “School Teacher” while teaching training sessions.
Johnson has been an elementary teacher in Southeast Louisiana for the past 15-plus years. This June, she is taking on a new adventure by opening the first online preschool in the River Region.
Preschool Scholar Christian Academy will be a highly interactive online school with a faith-based curriculum to effectively prepare children for kindergarten.
Johnson is excited to take children ages 3 to 5 from “Bible scholars to preschool scholars.” She saw a need for more online educational options while teaching elementary school virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. On October 30, 2020, she felt a calling from God to open an online preschool. The thought weighed on her mind and her heart, and she knew she couldn’t rest until she made it a reality.
Preschool Scholar Christian Academy will have its first day of school on June 7, and registration is open now. This summer, Johnson is also reviving her Traveling Tutor business, which has served countless students in St. John the Baptist Parish and beyond.
“I love teaching. Teaching is my true gift from God. I can teach in any arena, any atmosphere. It doesn’t matter the age group,” Johnson said. “The Holy Bible would be our foundation. For them to have a solid rock foundation that they so desperately need today with all the lapses in education, to me, the only way to achieve that is with the Bible being at the center.”
Johnson added that Preschool Scholar Christian Academy will have a strong focus on academics.
“I’m going to harp on phonics, phonemic awareness, reading and comprehension. I find that the children do not have a rock solid, strong academic foundation. It is missing some pieces. I have taught various grade levels, but I believe that for me to really be able to help the children, I need to get them from the very beginning,” she said.
Academic components will also include an introduction to math, number and letter recognition, sight words, calendar activities, discussing the weather and much more. Johnson wants to encourage accountable talk at a young age and present opportunities for circle time and show and tell so parents do not have to worry about their children missing out on the socialization component.
Each hour-long class will have a maximum of 10 students on the Zoom-based platform. Classes will be held hourly with 15-minute intermissions between each class starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 7 p.m. each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Preschool scholars will attend one class per day each for three consecutive days in their respective time slots.
The summer enrichment session will last through June and July. Johnson will continue to operate Preschool Scholar Christian Academy full-time for the 2021-2022 school year, beginning in mid-August.
A typical class structure will involve 30 minutes of academics, 15 minutes of Bible education on the preschool level and 15 minutes of “preschool pals” circle time.
“We will get to mingle, talk, laugh, play and grow together. All that’s in a traditional preschool will be there, but we will be in a virtual setting. It’s going to be engaging, encouraging and exciting,” Johnson said.
All classes will be recorded so scholars can look back and review information with their families.
A parent orientation will be held before classes begin to assist parents in setting up a home space conducive to virtual learning.
In order to keep young children engaged on a virtual platform, Johnson said classes will be upbeat and involve a lot of interaction and hands-on activities.
Each preschool student will receive a complimentary “scholar box” full of supplies including but not limited to a preschool tablet, writing tablet, dry erase board, crayons, pencils and Play-Doh. Scholars will also receive a motivational bracelet and a graduation cap to give them something to look forward to.
RESERVE — During a Thursday night meeting that lasted more than four hours, the St. John the Baptist Parish School... read more