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New Pre-K class could be added

Staff Report

Tallassee City Schools Superintendent Wade Shipman talked about the possibility of a new pre-kindergarten classroom in the near future. Tallassee Elementary School has submitted a grant application.

"Hopefully we can get a state funded Pre-K program," Shipman said. "Some people hear the word state-funded and they think it's free. It's not free. It costs about the same as a regular daycare would cost. It's designed and taught by certified teachers with a curriculum that they follow. Schools that have a Pre-K program get a better start."

Tallassee has an existing special education Pre-K program.

"It's put together with special education monies," Shipman noted. "They have priority set for special education students that start there."

Shipman noted that there is room to accomodate the additional pre-kindergarten classroom if it comes to fruition.

"We should know this spring or early this summer, so we can make arrangements if it happens."

Class size for four-year-olds would be limited to 18 students.

"Alabama was noted for having the best Pre-K program in the country," added Shipman. "This is one of the governor's initiatives to expand Pre-K by about $10-20 million every year. The issue that Alabama has is the low numbers of pre-school in a lot of schools. Over the last five years, there has been a push to add it.

"If we get 30 kids that want to be in those 18 slots, I believe it will be like a lottery system (to get in). If that happens we can apply for a second classroom next year."

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