Full Day Pre-K Now at Five Campuses
Select Enrollment for Full Day Pre-K for 2019-2020 School Year
In our ongoing efforts to provide students the best possible education, Alief ISD’s Board of Trustees approved a Full Day Pre-K Pilot program at five campuses for the 2019-2020 school year. This pilot program is aligned with the district’s goal to have every student reading on grade level by third grade.
To plan for this program, Alief formed a Pre-K Task Force, in conjunction with the Region 4 Education Service Center, to look at all factors to determine the possibility of Full-Day Pre-K in Alief. This Task Force is comprised of teachers, specialists, principals, central instruction staff, community stakeholders, non-profit organizations and a Board Member. The purpose of this group is to “research and identify all possibilities under current Texas laws and funding structures for Alief ISD to offer full day Pre-K to all eligible students.”
The evidence presented by the Task Force to support Full Day Pre-K was conclusive. Research shows that students who attend a high quality Pre-K program have better outcomes than those who do not. I am not talking just better test scores but the fact that high quality early learning leads to better language, cognitive and social skills through elementary school. In addition to that, research also shows that students who attend a high quality Full Day Pre-K program outperform those that attend a half-day program. The reason for this being that teachers have more time to work individually or with small groups of students in a more relaxed environment.
“The research is indisputable. A child’s brain is growing exponentially the first five years of his or her life. Early education is crucial to the development of a child for success in later life,” said Mari Martinez, Alief ISD Early Childhood Facilitator.
Currently, the State of Texas only funds half-day Pre-K, but our Board of Trustees believes in the importance of a high-quality early childhood education and the impact high-quality early literacy instruction has for students reading on grade level by third grade. For this reason, we have been looking at different alternatives for providing full-day Pre-K programs to our district’s eligible 4 year-olds. The community passed a bond in 2015, approving the creation of centers and/or additions to current elementary campuses in order to have capacity to go full day district-wide.
“While the Alief ISD voters have provided the district the funding necessary to build the classrooms required to offer full day Pre-K, the state of Texas has not provided the necessary funding to hire the teachers and to pay the day-to-day resources to operate full-day Pre-K,” said HD Chambers, superintendent of schools.
Alief ISD has selected five elementary campuses to pilot the Full Day Pre-K program when school begins for the 2019-2020 school year on August 14. Petrosky, Mahanay, Hicks, Bush and Cummings elementary schools were strategically chosen for their location and space availability.
“This is a start for us. As all experts have pointed out, early childhood education is of critical importance. We hope to expand this program further as funding becomes available,” Chambers added.
Alief ISD is now enrolling eligible four year olds for the 2019-2020 full day Pre-K pilot program. Five campuses will feature his select program including: Petrosky Elementary, Mahanay Elementary, Hicks Elementary, Bush Elementary and Cummings Elementary.