North Bolivar to offer pre kindergarten program
by Rory Doyle
May 19, 2013 | 2154 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The North Bolivar School District recently announced it would be instituting the first pre-kindergarten program in the district's history, beginning in the 2013-14 academic year.

Superintendent Jesse King said the move is part of the ongoing effort to improve academic achievement.

"The state did not provide funding for pre-k and we know it's so important to get children into school as early as possible," said King. "Without the state funding we decided to take from district funds and create the program."

The platform will introduce one new class at Brooks Elementary in Duncan and will be open to four-year-olds who are too young for kindergarten.

"We thought it would be so valuable to do this and we couldn't afford to wait around for grants or state funding," added King.

One certified teacher and teacher's assistant will lead the class. The district is still accepting applications for both positions on its website — .

The cap size for the class will be between 15-18 students, and interested parents should complete applications for their children via the website.

Student applications will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Eligible children must be four by September 1.

King said children too young for kindergarten are often enrolled at Head Start, which also has a waiting list.

"The director of Head Start has been very supportive of this idea and agrees this will be an excellent option for eligible students," he said.

The district believes the program will ultimately improve student performance on state mandated testing.

"As we move more and more toward common core testing, we're hoping to increase student readiness and achievement," said King. "We think the pre-k students will perform better in reading, language arts, math and social development.

"We're definitely going to track student performance as a research project and compare their results with our students who didn't attend pre-k."

In other district news, King said a new initiative would be introduced next year to boost college readiness.

He said all classrooms would be named after colleges or universities to keep students, in all grades, thinking about college.

"It's about creating a mindset," King said. "The end result is that we're shooting for every child to complete college."

He believes once schools are informed about the classroom named it in it's honor, they will want to contribute to the room and make sure its "advantageous to education."

"At North Bolivar we're all about getting students ready for college — from pre-k to 12," said King.