April 3, 2014. Applications for pre-kindergarten classes in the Watauga County Schools will be available beginning April 7. The classes are part of the state’s NC Pre-K program and are open to four year olds that meet state eligibility requirements.
Under the state’s requirements, children must meet “at risk” criteria to enroll in the program. At risk criteria include low household income, developmental impairments, and other factors. Children must also be four years old by or before August 31st. As part of the application process, parents must provide verification of household income, a copy of the child’s certified birth certificate, and two documents proving residence in Watauga County.
“We know this program provides great benefits for children and we encourage families of limited means to apply so that their children can take advantage of all that it offers,” remarked Watauga County Schools Elementary Education Director Tamara Stamey.
Pre-kindergarten classes operate on the same schedule as other classes in the Watauga County Schools and children in the program have access to the same school bus service and meal services as other students.
Applications will be available on the parent links page of the WCS website and on request from the WCS central office beginning April 7th. To find the application online, go to www.watauga.k12.nc.us, choose the Parent Links heading, and then click on “forms, menus & other WCS information.” Applications will be accepted April 7th through May 16th and must be returned in person to Renee Battle in the WCS central office during the hours of 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:15-4:15 p.m. on weekdays. Questions about applying for the pre-kindergarten program may be referred to Battle at 828 264-7190.
Space in the program is limited and families are encouraged to make alternative child care arrangements in the event their child cannot be enrolled. Parents also need to note that the WCS after school program does not serve pre-kindergarten children.
There are currently pre-kindergarten classrooms at Cove Creek, Green Valley, Hardin Park, and Parkway. These four classes serve 72 children, about 20% of the four year olds in Watauga County.