Fort Wayne Community Schools offers more details about expanded pre-K options
Fort Wayne Community Schools will be able to accept a combined total of about 900 4-year-olds in pre-kindergarten classes next year — nearly 100 more than this school year — and offer full-day pre-K to up to 80 students, school officials said Tuesday.
FWCS announced a pre-K expansion Monday and provided more details about the plan Tuesday during a press conference at Study Elementary School, 2414 Brooklyn Ave.
Study and Adams Elementary, 3000 New Haven Ave., will offer full-day pre-K next year. The schools now offer half-day pre-K. To be eligible for pre-K, children must turn age 4 on or by Aug. 1.
Research shows students who have participated in a high-quality pre-K program typically enter kindergarten more ready to learn and ahead in skills such as using a pencil and writing their names, said Kimberly Brooks, the school district’s Title I schools program manager. Title I schools qualify for special federal funding because they have attendance areas that include a large number of lower-income families.
Being able to spend a full school day in pre-K will help students significantly, said Stacy Rensberry-Garner, the pre-K teacher at Study who currently has nine students in her half-day pre-K class.
“I’m excited about it as a teacher,” Rensberry-Garner said.
In the full-day pre-K class, she will be able to spend more time on science and social studies, she said. She also can devote more time to helping students build their reading skills, as well as give them more exposure to art and music.
Full-day pre-K students also will get breakfast, lunch and a snack, Rensberry-Garner said.
“To me, it’s doing a lot of things these little learners need,” she added.
Earlier this school year, FWCS also announced it plans to expand pre-K for 4-year-olds to full-day next year at two magnet schools – Whitney Young Early Childhood Center, 1026 E. Pontiac St., and Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center, 1111 Greene St.
The school district said Monday it also will accept On My Way Pre-K grants at all 17 of its elementary schools that qualify for Title I funding.
In future years, FWCS hopes to increase the number of schools offering full-day pre-K classes, Brooks said. The number of schools doing so and how soon it happens will depend on parents’ interest and availability of space and funding, she said.
Parents can learn more about Fort Wayne Community Schools’ pre-kindergarten program options at 6 p.m. March 20 at elementary schools offering pre-K classes.
Families also can click here for pre-K and kindergarten information on the FWCS website.
TITLE I PRE-K SCHOOLS
Students must live in the attendance area of these schools or receive an On My Way Pre-K grant from the state of Indiana, which allows them to attend any school:
• Adams (full day pre-K)
• Brentwood (includes students living in Haley Elementary attendance area)
• Forest Park
• Franke Park
• Harrison Hill
• Indian Village
• Scott Academy
• South Wayne
• Study (full-day pre-K)
• Washington (includes students living in the Price Elementary attendance area)
These two magnet schools will offer full-day pre-K for 4-year-olds next school year:
• Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center
• Whitney Young Early Childhood Center
SPECIAL-NEEDS PRE-K CLASSES
These programs are open to children ages 3-5:
• Forest Park
• Harrison Hill
• Washington Center