Last updated: March 20. 2014 11:37AM - 1503 Views
By - ostapleton@newsdemocratleader.com

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Getting children off to a great start in their educational journey is vitally important - and one of the best ways to do that is through the preschool programs offered in the schools all across Kentucky. Children who are 3 and 4 years old have the opportunity to go to preschool free of charge in Kentucky and the Logan County School District is about to get their screenings under way.

The district will be holding a transition to preschool meeting on Thursday, March 278 at 6 p.m. at Logan County High School. Parents will be given information about the county preschool programs and can also get signed up for an appointment time for preschool screenings, which will take place on April 11 and 18 this year.

In Logan County, preschool is on a half-day schedule, Monday through Thursday. The morning session is from 8-11 a.m. and the afternoon session goes from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

“This just gives kids a good start before going to Kindergarten,” said Jane Wilkins, preschool director for the school district. “They learn so much - and not even all of it is academic. They learn so many things like what to expect when going to school and how to stand in line. It’s just a great way for them to start their education.”

One area of emphasis is getting the preschoolers acquainted with the technology they will be using to learn throughout their educational journey like iPads, computers and smart boards.

“Some parents think that the preschool program is just free babysitting, but it’s so much more than that,” said Brittany Holloway, the preschool teacher at Lewisburg School. “It has changed so much over the past several years.”

In addition to teaching the children basic skills, it also helps get parents acquainted with the way the educational system works.

Home visits are a part of the preschool program and help to build a bridge between educators and parents.

In the Logan district, there are only six preschool classrooms - one each at Adairville, Olmstead, Chandlers and Lewisburg; and two at Auburn.

Classes are limited to just 20 students for each session, so not all 3-and 4-year-olds get to attend preschool.

Children can qualify for the preschool program in five different areas - speech/language, cognitive, motor, personal/social and adaptive.

“If there are concerns or developmental delays in any of those areas, we will bring them back in for further evaluation,” Wilkins said.

Children selected for the program will then go into a response to intervention (RTI) program for 10 weeks. It will be at the school the child will attend on Fridays from 8-10:30 a.m. beginning on March 11.

At the end of the 10 weeks, if the child has not made significant progress, he or she will be admitted to the preschool program.

“We will also qualify some 4-year-olds if they fall under a certain income level,” Wilkins said.

If a child is admitted to preschool as a 3-year-old, no screening process is necessary to continue in the program as a 4-year-old.

Most children who are screened wind up being qualified, but a handful do not.

For those that don’t qualify for preschool this year, an informational packet will be given to their parents that explains the skills the children will need to learn before starting kindergarten.

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