Jefferson Elementary School

Grades: Childcare - Grade 2 | Manistee Area Public Schools

Welcome to Childcare, Pre-K & GSRP

Nurturing our youngest learners as they begin their school experience, we make the classroom experience fun and rewarding. Our practical tools help your student begin on the right foot.

Please Note!

Jefferson Elementary School will be home to MAPS Childcare, Preschool, GSRP, and Kindergarten to Grade 2 for the 2023/24 and 24/25 school years while the consolidated elementary school building is under construction.

Student with two hula hoops
Children engaged in loose parts play in preschool

Your Childcare and Preschool Team

View Childcare, Preschool & GSRP Staff
Preschool Staff - 231-398-3758

Sandy Ludwig - Pre-School Teacher & After School Program -
Amber Hiipakka - Pre-School Teacher Assistant

3 & 4 Year Old Daycare - 231.398.3754

Julie Zajac - Daycare Lead
Brittan Manke - Daycare

MAPS Great Start Readiness Program Staff - 231-398-3757

Amy Brown, GSRP Lead Teacher
Brenda Struble, GSRP Teacher Assistant
Courtney Gibbs, Classroom Helper

Renee Turmel, Lead Teacher
Nancy Zatarga, Teacher Assistant
Ashley Johnson Classroom Helper

Nancy Anciso, Lead Teacher
Sandy Ludwig - Pre-School Teacher & After School Program -
Amber Hiipakka - Pre-School Teacher Assistant

After School Care Staff - 231.398.3758

Sandy Ludwig - Pre-School Teacher & After School Program -
Amber Hiipakka - Pre-School Teacher Assistant

Morning Care Staff - 231.398.3758

Ashley Johnson, Lead


Location: 515 Bryant Avenue Manistee, MI 49660 | Map
Telephone: 231-723-9285
Fax: 231-398-2021
School Office Hours: M-Th: 7:30am – 4pm, Friday 7:30am – 3pm

Administrative Team

Principal: Julia Raddatz –    

Administrative Assistant: Amy Miller –

Registering for Pre-School or Kindergarten Begins Here!

Register Now!

Pre-School Entry

Will your child be (three) 3 years old or (four) 4 years old on September 1, 2024?

If yes, click the button below to share your information to start the registration process for Pre-School.

Kindergarten Entry

Will your child be (five) 5 years old on or before Sept 1, 2024?

If yes, click the button below to share your information to start the registration process for Kindergarten.

Early Childhood program flyer

Your Child’s Journey Begins Here!

At MAPS Early Childhood Learning, Mariner families are afforded the resources necessary to determine the best starting point for their young learners. MAPS offers a variety of programs tailored to the student and family needs.


Commitment to our MAPS family….

It is the policy of the Manistee Area Public Schools to provide an equal opportunity for all students to learn through the curriculum offered in this district.
At Manistee Area Public Schools we want all students to become:
  • Responsible citizens who are ethical, productive members of a global society; take responsibility for their own actions and physical well-being; are environmentally conscious; and contribute their time; energies, and talents for the improvement of their community and the quality of life for all.
  • Effective communicators who posses skills in written, visual, and spoken skills.
  • Self-confident individuals who demonstrate a positive self-image and are caring, sensitive and flexible human beings. Life long learners understand that learning is a process, not an event.

MAPS Preschool

MAPS Preschool Handbook

MAPS Preschool

Located at Jefferson Elementary School, MAPS Preschool has been a vital part of Manistee Area Public Schools early learners for over 15 years. Our program has been rated a 4 Star program from the Great Start to Quality rating system.

Our mission allows the children to learn, grow, play, and work at their individual levels all the while getting them ready for Kindergarten.  We are a tuition based program, and our teachers have a combined 35+ years of classroom experience. Children wishing to enroll in our 3 year old program which meets Tuesday/Thursday morning must be 3 by December 1st, and those entering the 4 year old class Monday/Wednesday/Friday either morning or afternoon must be 4 by December 1st.

At MAPS, Mariner families are afforded the resources necessary to determine the best starting point for their young learners. MAPS offers a variety of programs tailored to the student and family needs.

If you have any further questions please call 231.398.3722 or email

MAPS Preschool Staff

MAPS Preschool Staff – 231.398.3758

Sandy Ludwig – Lead Teacher –
Amber Hiipakka – Teacher Assistant –

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my child have to be potty trained?

Yes, in order to be enrolled within our program your child does need to be potty trained.


Can I pay tuition in a lump sum?

Yes, you may either pay monthly or for the entire year.


Do you go on field trips?

Yes, we use Dial a Ride for all transportation to and from field trips and parents will be notified as to dates and times of trips.


Can I help in the classroom?

Yes, we encourage parents to join us whenever they can.  If you volunteer more than 4 hours per week for more than two consecutive weeks there are licensing requirements for the state of Michigan that will need to be followed.


Is there transportation?

No, but many families choose to make reservations for their child to ride the Dial-a-Ride at their own expense.


What is the earliest I can drop my child off?

15 minutes before class starts. We ask that you do not drop your child off any sooner then 15 minutes before class, as teachers need this time to prepare for the day.


Does the school need a social security number for my child?

No,  our program does not need to have this information for your child to attend our program.


What does my child need to know before they can attend preschool?

No prerequisites for attending.  We do ask that before school begins parents work with their child on the self help skills needed for toileting.

Student Support Services

Manistee Area Public Schools offers the following programs to support children for academic success:

  • Literacy Groups are instructed by a trained para-professional for letter and sound recognition, phonemic awareness, blending, segmenting, etc. The para-professional works with 3 students for 30 minutes each day. (Title I)
  • Title I Aide Assistance is available for Kindergarten. Para-Professionals work with students on specific skills identified by the classroom teacher and assessment data. Daily assistance is provided.
  • Parent Volunteers are utilized in several classrooms. Teachers have trained volunteers on reading strategies and have weekly schedules for parents to assist in the classroom.
  • Read Naturally is a computered based Reading Program used to increase student reading skills (predicting, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary).
  • Safenet is available part time in each of the elementary schools. The Safenet worker is instrumental in helping our students to deal with external issues (bullying, divorce, death, emotions, etc. They work with them on a weekly basis or in crisis situations. An important component of this program is the family involvement.

Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP)

GSRP Handbook


Manistee Area Public Schools has teamed up with the Great Start Readiness Program and is now offering FREE four year old preschool to eligible families at Jefferson Elementary School.
The Great Start Readiness Program is a tuition FREE preschool that prepares children for Kindergarten. Eligible students are children of Manistee County who attain the age of 4 by September 1st of the current school year. Our program offers breakfast and lunch, as well as transportation through partnership with Dial-a-Ride. 
Please complete the application below and return it to Jefferson Elementary or Manistee ISD.

    Great Start Readiness Program wants to support your success as a new Mariner. Don’t see what you are looking for? Just reach out; we are happy to help!

    GSRP Staff
    Great Start Readiness Program Staff –
    Amy BrownLead Teacher 
    Brenda StrubleTeacher Assistant 
    Courtney GibbsClassroom Helper 
    Renee TurmelLead Teacher 
    Nancy ZatargaTeacher Assistant 
    Ashley JohnsonClassroom Helper 
    Nicole AncisoLead Teacher 
    Sandy LudwigTeacher Assistant 
    Amber HiipakkaClassroom Helper 

    After School Care

    After School Care Staff231.398.3758

    Sandy Ludwig – Lead Teacher –
    Amber Hiipakka – Teacher Assistant –


    MAPS After School Care Program

    MAPS After School Care Program is available at Jefferson Elementary School for MAPS students ages 5 to 12. Transportation to Jefferson from other MAPS district buildings is available. Summer care is also available. For more information please contact: Sandy Ludwig – Pre-School Teacher & After School Program –



    Face to Face Home School Program

    Parent home schooling child

    Face-to-Face Home School 


    MAPS offers Home to School Classes each Wednesday.  Courses are designed to encourage all area children, including MAPS students, to engage in the public school setting once a week for socialization, learning, and strong parent participation.  Art, lifetime activities (gym, aerobics, swim, and introduction to Taekwondo), drama, and choir courses are offered between 9:00am and 2:15pm each Wednesday.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you have to live in the MAPS district to participate in Face-to-Face?

    No, ant student can participate. The only requirement is that the student cannot be currently enrolled in another district.


    Is there a charge for the Face-to-Face program?

    No, there are no fess associated with our program.


    What are the hours for the Face-to-Face program?

    The hours for the Face-to-Face program are from 9:00am to 2:15pm on Wednesdays each week.


    Which grades are served by the Face-to-Face program?

    Homeschool students from Kindergarten through grade 12 are encouraged to participate.


    Is Face-to-Face a drop-off program?

    The Face-to-Face program was designed as a cooperative learning program that engages both the students and parents in a classroom setting. An adult is encouraged to accompany each student to participate in the program.


    What classes are currently offered?

    We currently offer:

    • Physical Activities (Gym & Swimming)
    • Choir
    • Art
    • Music


    Does Face-to-Face offer core classes?

    No, the Face-to-Face classes are all extracurricular.

    Program Documents

    Enrollment Form

    School of Choice Form

    Emergency Authorization Form

    Health Appraisal

    Child Information Record

    Child Information Record

    Photo Consent Form

    Licensing Notebook Notification Form

    Free & Reduced Lunch Application

    Information Packet Acknowledgment

    Parent Resources

    MAPS Nutrition Program

    The Manistee Area Public Schools provides quality nutrition services for all students of our district. Complete information and resources for our nutrition program are available by following the Learn More button. Direct access to our nutrition resources is also provided by clicking any of the direct links below.

    Get In Touch

    Location: 515 Bryant Ave, Manistee, MI 49660

    Principal: Julia Raddatz

    Telephone: (231) 398-3758