Parents will have more pre-kindergarten sites closer to home if the Muscogee County School District implements its proposal to add pre-K locations.
The proposal calls for adding six Early Success Centers to the current nine. MCSD also plans to add one more pre-K class for a total of 47 and spread that number more evenly throughout the district. The number of pre-K classes would range from two to five per site instead of having as many as seven now.
Early Success Centers would be added at these elementary schools if the proposal is implemented: River Road in the West Region; Brewer and Dorothy Height in the Central Region; Dawson, Midland and Wesley Heights in the East Region.
MCSD’s current Early Success Centers would remain at these elementary schools: Davis, Double Churches and Fox in the West Region; Eagle Ridge, Rigdon Road and South Columbus in the Central Region; Forrest Road, Lonnie Jackson and Mathews in the East Region.
If the proposal is implemented, MCSD’s pre-K centers next school year would have capacity to serve 1,024 students in a total of 47 classrooms spread among 15 schools.
This is the fourth year MCSD has been operating its Early Success Centers, which in 2014 consolidated the pre-K classes at 30 elementary schools into nine, three in each region.
The consolidation’s purpose was to shift pre-K students into schools that were under capacity or already experiencing growth. The consolidation’s academic benefits, officials mentioned then, included more opportunities for pre-K teachers to receive professional development, mentoring and coaching, and to collaborate on planning lessons and analyzing data. Consolidation also allowed administrators to visit classrooms more often for teacher evaluation and better monitor MCSD’s implementation of the state’s pre-K curriculum, officials said.
In 2014, MCSD had 50 pre-K classes serving approximately 1,100 students. The administration expected those numbers to remain basically the same when the board approved the consolidation. But now, those numbers have slipped to 46 pre-K classes serving 1,004 students.
“Parents either are just not knowledgeable of how the clustering works or some really don’t want to have their kids going outside of where they already have other children go,” Sadiyah Abdullah, MCSD’s Early Success Centers director, told the Muscogee County School Board during its retreat last Saturday.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A PRE-K SPOT
Children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 to be eligible for the program.
Parents wanting their child to attend MCSD’s pre-K program next school year can apply online at muscogee.k12.ga.us Feb. 26 through March 9. Students will be chosen by lottery, and parents will be notified of the results by March 16.
Applications also will be available during those dates at MCSD’s Early Success Centers in the following elementary schools: Double Churches, Eagle Ridge, Forrest Road, Fox, Lonnie Jackson, Mathews, Rigdon Road and South Columbus.
Parents can learn more more about MCSD’s pre-K program by attending one of the following information sessions, all running from 6-7 p.m.:
▪ Feb. 21 at Rigdon Road Elementary School, 1320 Rigdon Road.
▪ Feb. 22 at Lonnie Jackson Academy, 4601 Buena Vista Road.
▪ Feb. 27 at Double Churches Elementary School, 1213 Double Churches Road.