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The West Plains School District Expands Access To Early Childhood Education

The West Plains School District Expands Access To Early Childhood Education 

 

The West Plains School District has expanded access to high-quality early learning programs for children ages four to five. The expansion will help more kids enter kindergarten ready to succeed and serve more children in need. 

The expansion comes from blending district funding resources and changing how the service is offered. In the 2021-2022 school year, the district preschool program formerly offered one full-day class at South Fork Elementary and two half-day classes at West Plains Elementary. For the 2022 - 2023 school year, the district will offer two full-day classes and two half-day sessions for a total of four preschool classes as well as services through the Early Childhood Special Education program.

Children who attend an early childhood program are more likely to be ready for kindergarten, are more prepared for academic success, are more likely to graduate high school, and are less likely to repeat a grade or be identified with special needs.

“Expanding access to early childhood education helps close the achievement gap and prepare students for a lifetime of learning,” says Jim Thompson, West Plains School District Board of Education President. “To keep our economy strong, we need a long-term plan. A key step is ensuring that all children are prepared to enter school ready to learn.”

The preschool program is offered at West Plains Elementary and South Fork Elementary. The expansion includes new classrooms at West Plains Elementary, which will help more families in need and make the program more accessible.  

“We are excited to add a full-day preschool class to go along with our two-morning and two-afternoon classes here at West Plains Elementary. The more students we can expose to school early, the better prepared they are for kindergarten. I am so grateful to our school board and district administration for making expanding our preschool a priority.” says Becky Hutchinson, West Plains Elementary Principal.