Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Free Transportation to Medical Appointments

Did you know that you might be able to get free rides for yourself or your child's medical appointments?  Recipients through Medicaid are eligible for transportation through their managed care plan.  Most medical plans include rides to and from several varieties of appointments, including: mental health, vision, pharmacy, classes (child birthing and health education), labs, and  x-rays.

Medicaid Transportation Lines:

  • Aetna Better Health Plan: (800) 947-2133
  • Blue Cross Complete: (888) 803-4947
  • McLaren: (888) 327-0671
  • Meridian: (800) 821-9369
  • Molina: (888) 898-7969
  • UnitedHealthCare: (877) 892-3995
  • Medicaid only: Call the phone number provided on the back of your member card. 

Before you call make sure you have the following information on hand:
  • Member ID
  • Your date of birth and phone number
  • Address, phone number of doctor's office, doctor's name, and appointment time. 

Please note:  Some plans include car seats and others do not.  Mileage reimbursement is also available. Please visit here to read all of the details on your own individual plan. Most plans require you to call at least three days before your appointment to schedule a ride.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

2018-2019 Jackson County Preschool Interest Form Now Available

The preschool interest form for the 2018-2019 school year is now available. Parents should complete the form for their child if they would like to enroll in Jackson County Head Start, Early Head Start, or Great Start Readiness Programs. Interest forms can be completed here.

Income eligibility is based on family size.

# of Family MembersIncome at or Below

Some spaces may be available for over income families once all of the income eligible children have been enrolled.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Child Care Assistance

Are you struggling with paying for child care expenses?  Is your family looking for care during evening or weekend hours?  Do you need a provider that offers care during holidays or school breaks?  There is help and there are options available to you.

The Child Development and Care (CDC) program offered through the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) provides families with payment assistance for child care.  Based on family size and monthly income, the CDC has the potential to help tremendously with your monthly budget.

MDHHS has set rates based on the age of your children and the type of child care provider (child care center, family/group homes, unlicensed provider).  Once this rate is determined, MDHHS will pay a portion of that rate based on the combination of your family size and income. To get an estimate of how much will be covered, you can view the CDC Income Eligibility chart, but even if you are not sure how much will be covered, you are encouraged to apply.

But what if you need child care during hours when most centers are closed?  Are there any licensed or registered providers that offer care during evening, overnight, or weekend work shifts?  The answer is YES.  There are several opportunities throughout Jackson County that offer care during these non-traditional times and that currently have slots available.  To begin your search for providers closest to your home or workplace, visit Great Start to Quality or call Brittany Wright, Family Support Specialist, at (517) 817-0820.  Providers found through Great Start to Quality accept funding awarded through the CDC program.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Jackson County Kindergarten Round Ups

It is time to begin thinking about Kindergarten. Children who will turn five by September 1, 2018 are eligible to enroll in a Michigan Public School for Kindergarten. Parents of children who will turn five by December 1, 2018 who want to enroll their children in Kindergarten should contact the school district for a waiver.

Below you will find a list of Kindergarten Round Up information for Jackson County Schools. Thanks to our friends at Community Action Agency for collecting all of this information. Please check with the school to verify dates and times.

Phone Number
Registration Information & Start Times
Young 5’s
Additional Information
Arnold Elementary  School
4064 Page Ave.
Michigan Center, MI 49254
(517) 764-5700
Parent Meeting/Screening March 22nd
By Appointment – 4:30, 5:30 & 6:15 P.M.
School time – 8:00-3:30 P.M.

Packets online or pickup in office

Bean Elementary School
3101 Noble Rd.
Spring Arbor, MI 49283
(517) 841-8400
Parent Meeting – April 12th @ 7:00 P.M.
Round up by Appointment
April 23, 24, 26 @ 4:00-8:00 P.M.
April 25 – by Appointment @ 3:00-8:00 P.M.
School times – 8:27 – 3:27 P.M.

Receive packet and make apt. @meeting

Bennett School
820 Bennett St.
Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 841-2730
Round up – April 25 @ 5:30-7:30 P.M.

Columbia Elementary School
320 School St.
Brooklyn, MI 49230
(517) 592-6632
Parent Info Meeting – March 21 @ 6:30 P.M.
Meet & Greet – April 27 @ 1:30 P.M.
School times – 8:35-3:49 P.M.

Packet pickup after March 1
Online registration info after March 1
Cascades Elementary School
1200 S. Wisner St
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 841-3900
Round up – April 24 @ 5:30-7:30 P.M.
School Times – 8:35-3:49 P.M.

Round up held at Frost Elementary School
Concord Elementary School
405 South Main St.
Concord, MI 49237
(517) 524-6650
Parent meeting – March 21 @ 6:00 P.M.
Parent meeting located in Cafeteria includes Young 5’s
DaVinci Institute Primary
559 Murphy Dr.
Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 780-9980
Round up May 11
Call to schedule appointment
(517) 780-9980

Charter School
Dibble Elementary School
3450 Kibby Rd
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 841-3970
Round up – April 18 5:30-7:30 P.M.
School times – 8:45-3:47 P.M.

East Jackson Elementary
4340 Walz Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 764-1810
Round up by appointment
March 19 & 20
School times – 8:30-3:43 P.M.

Please contact school for times
Ezra Eby Elementary School
220 West
Napoleon, MI 49261
(517) 536-8667
Open enrollment
Must register online after February 15, 2018 School times 8:30-3:36 P.M.
Click on student enrollment button
School has computer access if needed
Frost Elementary School
1226 S. Wisner St
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 841-2600
Round up April 24 @ 5:30-7:30 P.M.
School times – 8:40-3:54 P.M.

George Long Elementary School
(517) 867-5590
Contact School
School times – 7:50-3:11 P.M.

Hanover Horton Elementary
131 Fairview St
Hanover, MI 49241
(517) 563-0103
Parent Meeting – April 17 @ 6:00 P.M.
Round up by appointment
April 25, 26, 27 @ 8:30-2:30 P.M.
April 28 @ 8:30-11:30 A.M.
School times – 8:45-3:34 P.M.
Parent must attend parent meeting
Hunt Elementary
1143 N. Brown St
Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 841-2610
Round up – April 19 @ 9:30-11:30 A.M.

School times – 7:45-2:47 P.M.

Magnet School
JPS Montessori Center
(517) 841-3870
Round up – April 26 @ 5:30-7:00 P.M.
School times 7:45-2:47 P.M.

Northwest Early Elementary
3757 Lansing Ave.
Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 817-4705
Round up by appointment
April 17, 18 & 19
School times – 8:25-3:40 P.M.
Parent meeting March 20 contact school for time
Paragon Charter Academy
3750 McCain Rd
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 750-9500
Round up – April 17 & 18
Call for appointment and tour

Charter School – Apply online
Parma Elementary School
385 Elizabeth St
Parma, MI 49269
(517) 841-8600
Round up April 23, 24, & 26 @ 4:00-8:00 P.M.
April 25 by appointment @ 3:00-8:00 P.M.
School times -  8:30-3:35 (Wed 2:35)
Parent meeting – April 12 @ 7:00 P.M. @ Western Community Art Center Receive packet and make appt. @ meeting
Sharp Park Academy
766 Park Rd
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 841-2860
Round up April 19 @ 5:30-7:30 P.M.
School time 8:40-3:42 P.M.

Magnet School
Springport Elementary School
300 W Main St
Springport, MI 49284
(517) 857-3465
Parent meeting – March 13 @ 6:00-7:00 P.M.
Open House – March 27 @ 6:00-7:00 P.M.
School times – 7:30-3:33 P.M.

Kindergarten camp – August
Townsend Elementary School
1005 Floyd Ave
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 784-6133
Round up – April 19 5:00-8:00 P.M.
School time – 7:30-4:00 P.M.
Warner Elementary School
(517) 841-8500
Parent meeting – April 12 @ 7:00 P.M.
Round up by appointment
April 23, 24, & 26 @ 4:00-8:00 P.M.
April 25 @ 3:00-8:00 P.M.

Parent meeting @ high school auditorium
Jackson Christian School
801 Halstead Blvd
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 784-6161
Informational Open House
February 12 @ 5:30 P.M.
April 12 @ 5:30 P.M.
Bring your child
Child Care provided
Private School
5:15 Sign-in for the Corral-children activities
5:30 Parents Meeting
6:30 Tour Campus
Queen’s Catholic School
811 S. Wisner St
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 782-2664
Open House – Feb 8 @ 6:30 P.M.
School times – 8:10-3:10 P.M.
Private School
St. John’s Catholic School
(517) 784-1714
Open House – Feb 1 @ 6:00 P.M.
After Feb 1 – Call for appointment & tour
School times 8:00-3:05 P.M.
Private School
St. Mary’s Star of the Sea
(517) 784-8811
Open House – Feb 1 6:00-7:30 P.M.
School times – 8:00-3:05 P.M.
Private School
Call for Appt if after Feb 9
Trinity Lutheran School
122 W. Wesley St
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 750-2105
Open House – Jan 29 @ 6:00 P.M.
School times – 8:00-3:00 P.M.

Private School

Monday, February 12, 2018

Family Game Night: The Benefits of Board Games

What children need and love the most is being with you.  Playing board games with your child is an easy and excellent way to spend unhurried, enjoyable time together.  And, as a bonus, these games offer children important learning opportunities and help build social skills.  They teach children the life lesson - Never give up!  Just when you feel like you are at your lowest point and losing in inevitable, you hit the jackpot and climb back up again!  You just have to stick with it.

With Valentine's Day in just a few short days, an age-appropriate board game is a perfect gift choice for your child. There are so many fantastic games to choose from.  To get you started, look below for some favorites that are sure to be a hit with your family and can easily be found in your local store!

ThinkFun Roll and Play Board Game : For children 18 months and up
Zingo : For ages 3 and up
Hi Ho Cherry-O : For ages 3 and up
Pop Up Pirate : For ages 4 and up
Let's Go Fishin : For ages 4 and up
Trouble : For ages 5 and up
Jenga : For ages 6 and up

Have fun!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

When Will the 18-19 Preschool Interest Form Be Available?

The 2018-2019 Jackson County Preschool Interest Form will be available soon. We hope to have the form available to the public by February 16th. We will be using a new system that will directly input to our database in Child Plus. This will mean less data entry for staff and more timely enrollments for families.

The new interest form will have a map feature allowing parents to see the preschool sites nearest their home or work. It is also will allow us to recruit for Early Head Start, Head Start, and the Great Start Readiness Program with one form for parents.

Thank you for being patient with the enrollment process. We look forward to seeing many new faces at our first preschool fair on March 16th from 2:30-6:30 P.M. at Baker College.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Celebrating Parents and Families Event!

On Friday, February 2nd 2018, the Great Start Collaborative of Jackson County (GSC) hosted a "Celebrating Parents and Families" breakfast event at the Cascades Manor House. Those in attendance included parents, families, teachers, educational leaders, social service agency representatives and more. Two guest speakers from the Community Action Agency Building Resilience group shared their impactful stories of overcoming a life of trauma. Another highlight of the event was a focus on the Great Start Collaborative's (GSC) Trusted Advisor work. The GSC of Jackson County received a $60,000 Trusted Advisor grant to coordinate efforts around reaching the hardest to reach populations/families in Jackson County to provide resources and supports to meet needs they may have. The Trusted Advisors we are working with in the community were present at this event and are everyday individuals building relationships and connecting people to resources at food banks, shelters, work services, laundromats, and more.

Current and upcoming projects of the GSC were also shared at this event. Because of a generous grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation, the GSC has begun work on increasing the literacy scores of children in Jackson County and decreasing the effects of "summer slide." We have teamed up with our ISD Literacy team in order to plan and introduce "Summer Literacy Labs" in the county's most needed areas. These labs will be focused on both prekindergarten and K-3 Essential Instructional Practices in Literacy to build skills in both children and parents/guardians. In addition, the GSC will increase access to books in the home by utilizing the Little Free Library and the Take a Book: Return a Book program across the county.