Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education recently announced that the state’s First Class Pre-K program will add 122 new classrooms this fall, including a classroom at Oak Mountain Elementary School. The new classrooms will increase the size of Alabama’s high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten program for the 2017-2018 school year to 938 classrooms enrolling approximately 16,884 four-year-olds (28 percent of all four-year-olds) statewide.
The new classrooms were made possible due to increased appropriations in the FY 2018 Education Trust Fund Budget along with funding from year three of Alabama’s four-year federal Preschool Development Grant.
“A high-quality childhood education program has long-lasting benefits on our society as a whole,” Governor Kay Ivey Said. “Investment in our people through education, no matter at what level, is an investment in economic development. I am proud that we are now offering our nationally acclaimed First Class Pre-K program to more Alabama children and families.”
According to Oak Mountain Elementary Principal Debbie Horton, the school’s new Pre-K program will serve students zoned for OMES who turn four years old on or before September 1. Students will be selected for the program through a lottery drawing. Applications for the lottery drawing will close on Thursday, June 15. Parents will be informed through email the status of their child’s enrollment in the program the week of June 19-23.
Parents interested in registering their child for the Pre-K program can email the following information to Ferris Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org: child’s name; birthdate; special services required; languages spoken by the child; allergies; address; parents’ name; and parents’ email.
Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program is managed by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. ADECE is a part of the executive department of the state government, principally established to enable the governor to effectively and efficiently coordinate early learning programs throughout the state. The department administers the First Class Pre-K program through competitive grants awarded annually. Classrooms are located in public and private schools, child care centers, faith-based centers, Head Start programs, and other community-based preschool settings.
Inverness Elementary received funding last year for a First-Class Pre-K Program and will be offering their program for a second year during the 2017-2018 school year.