KCS voluntary pre-K screenings set for March 31

Rick Wagner • Mar 15, 2020 at 1:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Do you have a 4-year-old who won’t turn 5 by Aug. 15 who is ready to play and learn?

It is time for voluntary pre-K screenings in Kingsport City Schools, so bring your child to the Civic Auditorium on Tuesday, March 31, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

To participate in the income-based program, students must be 4 by Aug. 15, but not 5.

Amy Doran, coordinator of early learning, grant writer and principal of the Palmer Early Learning Center, gave the Board of Education an annual report on the pre-K program and early childhood education in general for KCS at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Doran said KCS has three programs:

— An early childhood tuition-based program held at the Palmer Center for children 6 weeks to 5. This also serves teen mothers from Dobyns-Bennett High School who get an income-based tuition waiver as well as children of school system employees.

— Early intervention pre-K special education, offered for 3-year-olds at Johnson Elementary and 4-year-olds at Roosevelt Elementary.

Voluntary pre-K, an income-based program of 10 classes in seven facilities: Roosevelt, Lincoln, Johnson, Kennedy and Jackson elementaries; Palmer; and the V.O. Dobbins Center.

Doran said the voluntary program is “play-based learning” that focuses on science, math, authentic literacy and social-emotional development. It is based on standards and in the science study includes engineering and technology. As an example, she said students disassemble donated computers to learn how they are put together.

Students eventually must sign themselves into the program each day instead of having a parent or guardian sign, which she said makes for confident kindergarteners ready for elementary school.

In addition, Doran said kindergarten registration, which requires no child at the event, runs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the elementary school for which the child is zoned, even if the parent is seeking a zoning exemption. To be eligible, the child to enter kindergarten must be 5 by Aug. 15.


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