Pre-K program draws interest

Published 6:29 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012

As work gets under way at the Early Childhood Center, community interest in the Troy City Schools’ pre-kindergarten program is building.

“I’ve had a lot of people calling with me a lot of interest in the K-4 program,” Dr. Judson Edwards told fellow members of the school board of Monday. “I do think in the long run for the system this is going to make a big difference.”

The pre-K program for 4-year-olds is scheduled to begin with the 2012-2013 school year and work recently began on the construction of new classrooms at the Troy Elementary Campus.

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“I have to commend Whaley Construction,” said Lee Hicks, superintendent. “They’ve put extra men on the job and they’re working 10-hour days to make sure our turnover date of July 25 is met.”

In talking about the program, Edwards encouraged the administration and board members to “view this as a wide open opportunity for these kids.”

“This can be technology driven, foreign language driven … whatever we want it to be,” he said. “The state places so many regulations on curriculum and what we can teach … but we don’t have to think inside the box on this one.”

Juan Henderson, Troy Elementary principal, said he is visiting and studying other pre-K programs in the state to develop ideas for structure and curriculum for Troy’s program. “We should have some feedback for you guys soon,” he told the board.

In other business on Monday, the Troy City Schools board:

• Officially accepted the resignation of long-time football coach and athletic director Hugh Fountain.

Fountain, who had taught and coached at the school for 16 years, has accepted the athletic director and head coach position at Escambia Academy in Atmore. Although his resignation is effective July 1, Fountain already has left Charles Henderson High School.

“Coach Fountain has been a role model for our boys and he has led by example,” said Roxie Kitchens, president of the school board. “He may not have always won a majority of games in the season … but his boys will go on to be winners in life, and that means more than the win/loss column.”

The district is advertising for a new head coach and athletic director.

• Approved an amended student complaints and grievances policy, which brings the district into compliance with requirements for certain grants.

• Received a copy of the central office finance and local schools accounting procedures to review. “We already follow these, but we’ve never adopted them,” CFO Mickey Daughtry told the board. The board will vote on the adoption of the policies at its February meeting.

• Heard the presentation of a proclamation for School Board Recognition Month signed by Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

• Approved the paying of bills and accepted the financial report. Sales tax revenues for December 2011 were 4 percent below December 2010 and for November were 1 percent below November 2010.