Southwest offers new classes to pre-school students

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

2 new half-day classes to serve as many children as possible

Southwest children moved from a waiting list into real life academic classes this week, as Southwest schools now offers two new half-day programs to attend to as many children as possible.

Kandie Eads, Southwest schools special services director. said the new pre-school class started on Oct. 1.

“Teri Jo Shackles is already employed by the district and served as a kindergarten and Title 1 teacher,” Eads said. “Shackles has certifications in early childhood development and is the teacher for the new classes.”

Eads said Southwest already has two pre-school classrooms, but has such a large waiting list that the district decided to to start a third classroom.

“The two current classes are full-day classes that are available to 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds,” Eads said. “The new class will be two half day programs, because we are trying to serve as many children as we can.”

According to Eads, the new classes will be split between the students who will enter kindergarten next year, and the students who will take another year of pre-school before they enter kindergarten.

“The curriculum will be a little different between the two half-day classes,” Eads said. “The pre-school students will have class in the morning, and the early childhood students will have class in the afternoon.”

Eads said there will be no change in the current full-day classes curriculum.

“We sent out letters to the current pre-school students,” Eads said. “We gave the parents of those students the option to move into the half-day classes, if that worked better for their schedules.”

According to Eads, none of the current students decided to move from full-day to half-day, so the new classes will hold the students who are currently on the waiting list.

“We haven’t asked anyone to move and we aren’t going to,” Eads said.

Eads said the waiting list fluctuates by a couple of students, and was at 24 at its highest. The current full-day pre-school classes holds 20 students, but the new half-day classes will hold 15 each.

“We can serve more children this way,” Eads said.

A parents meeting was held on Sept. 27, and a student screening was held on Sept. 7.

“Students don’t have to be screened to get into the class, or get on the waiting list,” Eads said. “We just like to see where the children are at, to give us an idea of where we need to be.”

According to Eads, the students in pre-school will learn their numbers, letters and how to write their name. Also, the students will learn the routine of class structure.

“Kindergarten class is so much more academic than it was years ago,” Eads said. “Before, it was more of a play time, and the pre-school classes really help prepare students for the academic structure of kindergarten.”

Eads said there are still openings for the new half-day classes.

For more information about enrollment people may call 417-826-5411.

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