Registration for the voluntary pre-kindergarten program in the DeKalb County School system will be conducted on Monday, August 2nd at Smithville Elementary School and DeKalb West School.
Children may be registered that day from 7:45 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
Clay Farler, Director of the Pre-K program and Attendance Supervisor, says state funding provides for a total of four pre-k classes at Smithville Elementary School and one class at DeKalb West School.
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Farler says eligible children must be four years of age by September 30th and their parents must meet the federal income guidelines. "Parents should bring their four year old child to registration along with the youngster's birth certificate, record of a physical examination within the last year, and the child's immunization record. The law, as of July 1st, has changed regarding immunizations as far as what's required so parents should check with the health department or their doctors. I'm not sure if they have the forms ready for that yet but if they are able to get that by August 2nd, they need to bring that. If not, the state has given us a short amount of time as a grace period in order for parents to be able to get those in."
"I also want to address some of the requirements for kindergarten. Of course, we have a pre-kindergarten program at Smithville Elementary and at DeKalb West School. We have four classrooms at Smithville Elementary and one classroom at DeKalb West. We must first enroll students who are four years old on or before September 30th of this current school year. So any boy or girl who would be four years of age on or before September 30th might qualify for the program. We're also to enroll children who qualify for the free or reduced price lunch program. They are the first ones who have to be enrolled. Then after that, if we still have vacancies we are to enroll children with disabilities or children identified as English language learners or those at-risk for failure due to circumstances of abuse or neglect. The program is mainly for at-risk students and as I mentioned they have to be four years old on or before September 30th."
"There is one classroom at both schools that we're able to enroll three year old students who will be three years old on or before September 30th, if we do not fill the classroom with four year olds. We usually have quite a few more three year old children that apply than we are able to get into the program. So I would encourage parents to enroll their children. It is a great program. We've been running it for about ten years. We started out with two pilot classrooms, one at each school and then about five or six years ago we were able to start adding additional classes and now we're up to four classes at the elementary school and one at the west school."
"We can have up to twenty students per class of four year olds. If we do enroll any three years olds we must have a smaller number in that classroom. Each class has a teacher and an educational assistant who works with the teacher. Since we have four classrooms at the elementary school we even have another educational assistant who works there to help out with all the classes."
For more information, contact Farler at 597-4084.