Jumpertown School will be the latest in the Prentiss County School District to offer pre-kindergarten, following the unanimous approval of Principal Anthony Michael’s proposal by the school board on Monday.
The program will be aimed at improving the academic performance of students by providing early instruction in vital skills such as reading and math and exposing them to the school environment.
Michael told the board the much-requested program can be added at his school with very minimal costs to the district. He explained they have a kindergarten teacher who can be shifted to the pre-k program without the need to add another teacher. They also have a room available which can be easily adapted to house the pre-k class with only minor upgrades.
The new program will serve a maximum of 20 children with first priority being given to students from the Jumpertown area. If there are still any slots available beyond that they will be made available to students from other areas of the district.
Michael said there’s been a big demand from the community for pre-kindergarten at the school, particularly since the closure of the Pisgah Head Start center prior to the start of the 2015-16 school year which left few options for early childhood education in the area.
Jumpertown’s program is the second pre-kindergarten program approved by school board members this spring and will be the third in the district. The board previously voted to add a similar program at Hills Chapel School to begin this fall.
The district currently operates one other pre-kindergarten program, located on the Thrasher School campus, which is funded through a multi-year grant with no costs to the district and which serves students throughout the district.