Como-Pickton will be reducing its pre-kindergarten program for the 2013-2014 school year to serve as many students as possible with the resources available.
Superintendent Kay Handlin cited reduced numbers of students and reduced funding for the program. She noted that C-P Consolidated Independent School District no longer receives any state aid to help support the program, and the funds they do receive for average daily attendance figures are for half-a-day classes.
The district will reduce staff from three to two teachers, one regular and one bilingual education teacher. Pre-k and Head Start classes, which serve 4-year-olds can have as many as 22 students per class, but only about half that many is recommended due to the students’ age. Larger classes require educational aids in the classroom to assist. The district will limit classes to 15 students each, which will eliminate the need for an educational aid in the classroom.
School administrators announced the restructuring of the pre-k program in April, noting two sessions would be held daily, a morning and an afternoon session. A morning and afternoon session means the district can serve twice as many students, 60 instead of just 30, Dr. Handlin noted.
Administrators during the spring announcement advised that the pre-k student will only be eligible to ride the bus once during the day. Buses will run their usual morning and afternoon routes, so parents of C-P pre-k students will be responsible for their students’ transportation at midday.
C-P students attending the morning session can get on the bus in the morning along with other C-P students. When their day ends around lunch time, the parents are responsible for picking them up. Parents of pre-k students attending the afternoon class will be responsible for getting their child to school to start the afternoon session; these students would be able to to ride the bus home, along with other C-P students at the end of the school day.
During the regular June school board meeting, school administrators discussed the new pre-k hours with school trustees and set the hours of operation.
The district will have two sessions for three hours each, with 2 1/2 of those hours dedicated to academics. The first group will attend school from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the second group from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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