Registration opens for pre-K programs

Published 8:54 am Monday, January 23, 2017

It’s almost never too early to start thinking about next year when it comes to education.

Preparations are now being made for the 2017-2018 school year as pre-K registration for the Vicksburg Warren School District has opened.

“Each school is handling their registration this year,” said Connie West, pre-K and gifted coordinator. “Whatever school you’re zoned for, that is the school where you go and apply for pre-K.”

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Students are zoned for certain schools based on where they live. Parents and guardians can access the pre-K application on the school district’s website at Applications cannot be submitted online this year, but the district hopes to make that a possibility in the future, West said.

“We are working on that, but this year it’s just hand delivery to the school,” she said. “Our goal is to move toward that, especially with our one-to-one technology initiative, but this year we are going to stick with the paper copy.”

Completed applications should be turned in at the school the student is zoned to attend. Other information needed to apply is a copy of the child’s birth certification, immunization records, Social Security card and proofs of residency. To apply, students must be 4-years-old before Sept. 1, 2017.

Registration does not necessarily close, but West suggests applying soon.

“(Registration) is pretty much open until school starts — until space is full. We don’t want to turn anyone away,” she said. “I strongly encourage they go to the school, take the application and apply.”

All district elementary schools, other than Bowmar, have pre-K classes.

Currently, there are 12 pre-K classes in the district, with each class accepting a maximum of 20 children. West said the classroom sizes are in accordance with federal guidelines.

“We’re going to try our best to accept as many children as possible,” she said. “Last year we were able to add more classes thanks to our school board. It was great they were able to see the impact pre-K has.”

West said students who attended the district’s pre-K averaged a score 101 points higher on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment than children who did not attend pre-K.

By the end of the school year last year, she said, the pre-K students had surpassed the benchmark testing scores to go to kindergarten.

“That’s awesome to see the results from our pre-K teachers we have in Vicksburg Warren School District,” she said. “Our students that go through our pre-K program, they are ready for kindergarten.”