In most high school classrooms, the teachers have completed college and the students are aiming for college and career. However, in one classroom in a remote corner of Penn High School, the teachers have completed middle school and the students are aiming for kindergarten.

This classroom is child development, where Penn students create lesson plans designed to help little ones ages three to five prepare for their next step. Assisting with the lesson plans and instructing students is Mrs. Kylee Wetzel, a FACS teacher at Penn. She says that the younger children are more prepared for Kindergarten after participating in the program. “They learn writing [and] numbers… they read stories, they play games, they learn the pledge of allegiance,” among other activities, says Wetzel.

Penn students participating in the class echoed the sentiment, and said that the younger students aren’t the only ones learning. Maddie West, a member of the Class of 2018, says that the class is preparing her for her career. “I took the class because I want to work with kids in my future and I thought it would be helpful, and I enjoyed working with the kids last year in regular child development so I decided to take advanced child development,” she says.

Wetzel says that the program is a unique and enjoyable experience for all involved. “It’s just really a lot of fun. My students look forward to it every day when they come in, I personally look forward to it every day. It is an experience that you can’t get in other places.”

There are two sessions still yet to be held this year, one of Playschool 1 and one of Playschool 2. Playschool 1 is for children ages 3-4 who are potty trained, and will run after spring break. Exact dates are to be announced. Playschool 2 is for children ages 4-5, and will run from January 23rd through May 11th, 2017, on every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 8:30-9:45. There will be various holidays off in between.

If you are interested in signing up your toddler or would like further information, please contact Mrs. Wetzel at Penn students interested in joining the class should talk to their counselor about Child Development (course number 1005) for the 2017-2018 school year.

By Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty teaches English and Mass Media Studies at Penn High School. He advises the Penn News Network and manages the PNN Studio and news room. For more information, navigate your browser to