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First Goddard School in state opens in Farragut


Knoxville residents Randy and Rosemary Overton made Farragut notable when they opened their Goddard School at 125 Loudoun Road, Feb. 5.

“This is the first Goddard School in the state of Tennessee,” Randy said.

Goddard School, Randy said, is a franchise of Goddard Systems, Inc., located in King of Prussia, Penn. Each franchise, he said, costs “well north of” $250,000 and there are 200 schools across the country.

“We are not a daycare center,” Randy said. “We concentrate on making learning fun.”


Knoxville residents Randy and Rosemary Overton made Farragut notable when they opened their Goddard School at 125 Loudoun Road, Feb. 5.

“This is the first Goddard School in the state of Tennessee,” Randy said.

Goddard School, Randy said, is a franchise of Goddard Systems, Inc., located in King of Prussia, Penn. Each franchise, he said, costs “well north of” $250,000 and there are 200 schools across the country.

“We are not a daycare center,” Randy said. “We concentrate on making learning fun.”

Randy said the school has nine classrooms in the 8,000-square-foot building and accepts students from ages as young as six weeks up to 6-years-old. In each of these classrooms are learning centers and children can interact in these centers. Skill development centers include items for motor skill development, language arts, science, music, cognitive development and social science.

“We don’t have any toys here that are just for entertainment purposes,” Randy said. “Everything here has educational value. Unlike some schools, we don’t force the children to do the same activity at the same time.”

Guidelines for children at different ages and stages, he said, are established by Goddard Systems and stringently adhered to by every school. Goals are established for children at different levels.

Randy said the youngest children are started in the Infant I program. Developmental guidelines for children in this group include listening and responding to voices, babbling for attention, recognizing familiar voices, reaching to be held and several others.

“We evaluate children three times a year to see if they have achieved their developmental guidelines,” Randy said. “Once they achieve the objectives, then they are moved into a different program level.”

Goddard has people who come in to audit the facility on a regular basis. Randy said the company checks on its schools often.,

Goddard educational standards exceed the minimum state requirements. One of those areas is in security.

The first level of security, Randy said, is a locked vestibule. Parents don’t get past the vestibule unless they sign in and are recognized by Goddard staff. In the event a non-custodial relative comes to pick up a child, the relative would have to have the password assigned to the parent of that particular child. Even with the appropriate password, Goddard staff still call and verify with the custodial parent.

“We’ll have fingerprint scanners in here at some point,” Randy said.

Exterior cameras offer views of all four sides of the building and playground area.

The school is licensed for 132 students at maximum and offers a variety of rates, ranging from $750 to $950 a month.

Randy spent 30 years in sales for a family-owned company in the Chicago area and Rosemary, a Knoxville native, worked as a public accountant.

“We’re both dealing with elderly parents and we wanted to make a change for our youngest child,” Randy said. “What drew us to the Goddard program was the company’s commitment to a quality, premiere daycare program as well as its continuous support of the schools.”

Randy said Goddard is particular about creating franchises and they had to go through a lengthy 19-month process before they could open the school.

For more information, call 865-966-0663.

 

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