Approximately 30 parents attended Maxwell Elementary and Dearing Elementary Schools for the pre-K lottery drawing last Wednesday, Feb. 20. Maxwell Elementary had 103 completed applications for 80 slots, and Dearing had 43 completed applications for 40 slots. After the designated slots were filled, the remainder of the names were drawn to establish their order on a waiting list.
The school board approved the lottery drawing in 2005 for placement of pre-k students after there were issues with parents standing in long lines for hours to receive a slot that was awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
According to Federal Programs Director Beth Newton, the pre-k program is not a watered-down kindergarten program, but readies children for school by teaching them social and communication skills, and fosters their desire to learn by introducing educational concepts.
The state funds a certain number of pre-kindergarten slots for each school. The overflow students may attend state-funded pre-k at a participating childcare center. Dr. Newton said the state-funded pre-k programs in childcare centers use the same curriculums the state offers the elementary schools.