Pre-K program offered

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, March 15, 2012

The vision of the Troy City School System Preschool Program is to prepare children to enter the regular school program with a solid sense of security, positive self-esteem and long-term enthusiasm for learning. In so doing, the children will possess the confidence to realize their potential to develop as worthy and capable individuals.

In order to realize that visions, the Troy City School System Preschool Program is in the process of implementing Pre-K Program in the 2012-13 school year. Registration began on Tuesday and will continue until all of the slots are filled.

Children must be four years old on or by Sept. 2, 2012 and must be potty trained to begin the Pre-K Program.

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Juan Henderson, Troy Elementary School principal, said it is the mission of the system’s preschool program to reach children at an earlier age.

“We are not trying to make young children eighth graders,” Henderson said. “However, research has shown that the earlier we began to work with children, the more impact we have and the greater the readiness skills that they build.”

Alabama does not fund a Pre-K Program, which Henderson said gives children a jump-start into the regular school program.

“The Pre-K Program that we are implementing will be a unique opportunity for our community,” he said. “This program will include the development of social skills as well as academics. The program will include creative play as well as science. We will take the normal inquisitiveness of the children and guide them through activities centered around creative learning.”

Because only grades K-12 receive state funding, the Pre-K Program will be offered at a cost.

“There is a $100 registration fee and the monthly fee is $440,” Henderson said. “Parents may drop their children off as early as 7:15 a.m. and pick them up as late as 5:30 p.m. The regular school day will dismiss at 2:50 p.m. but the day will be extended until 5:30 for those who need late pickups.”

The $440 fee includes breakfast and lunch and a snack for those in extended care.

Henderson said classrooms have been readied for the Pre-K Program and there will be a certified teacher in each classroom.

“If the numbers are elevated between 16 and 20 students in a classroom, we will have a teacher aide in that room,” Henderson said. “We will keep the teacher ratio at 10 to one.”

Henderson said the Pre-K Program could potentially accommodate about 100 students.

“Each of the classrooms will have a Smart Board and we will expose the students to age appropriate technology,” Henderson said. “We will have center type activities and inside and outside play and many hands-on technology-type activities.”

Parents wishing to register their children for the Pre-K Program may do so at the Hank Jones Early Childhood Center between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. until all of the slots are filled.