School district to offer 3 additional Pre-K programs

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will offer three additional pre-kindergarten programs for the 2012-2013 school year.

The programs, funded by Title 1 grant money, will be available at Paul Banks Elementary in Homer, Seward Elementary and Sterling Elementary. With the newly offered programs, the district will offer Pre-K classes at a total of nine schools throughout the district. There are 98 students currently enrolled in six existing programs, and that number is expected to increase next year.

Title 1 programs are made available through federal grants to improve the achievement of students in schools serving low income populations. A school qualifies for Title 1 funding based on neighborhood income levels measured through free and reduced lunch enrollment counts, KPBSD communications specialist Pegge Erkeneff said. 

Students who are eligible for the Pre-K programs must first go through a screening assessment that will measure the student’s kindergarten readiness, Erkeneff said. The goal is give those students who could benefit from extra instruction the opportunity to be prepared for kindergarten. The classes are two and a half hours each day, and taught by a certified teacher. 

“The whole idea is to help a child to be ready for kindergarten,” she said. “To have the beginning skills that they need.”

Some of the things evaluators look for are social development skills, gross and fine motor skills, cognitive abilities, emotional development, language and communication skills, among others, Erkeneff said.  

“When we look at child development, there are several factors that we consider for the optimal development of each child,” she said.

To attend a Pre-K class, the student must live in the attendance area of the school that’s offering the program, Erkeneff said. 

For more information, visit the district’s website at http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us or contact the office at the attendance area school. 

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