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Pre-Kindergarten Screenings Available June 14 at Watauga Board of Education/Gragg Education Center

June 1, 2012. A free developmental screening will be offered on June 14 for children who live in Watauga County and will be 4-years-old as of August 31. The screenings June 14 will be the same as the ones previously offered on three Saturdays in March and April, and children who have already been screened on one of those dates should not attend the June screening.

The screenings will be offered by appointment on the morning of June 14 and will take place at the Watauga County Board of Education/Gragg Education Center. Parents can schedule an appointment by calling Renee Battle at 828-264-7190.

Any child who may attend the Watauga County Schools pre-kindergarten program next fall must be screened before enrollment. Parents will be able to apply for a space in pre-kindergarten program at the June 14th screening but the screening service is not limited to children who may enter that program.

Pre-kindergarten application forms are available in schools and on the page for “Forms, Menus, and Other WCS Information” under the Parent Links heading on the WCS website at www.watauga.k12.nc.us. As part of the application, parents will have to provide proof of residence in Watauga County, verification of household income, and a copy of the child’s certified birth certificate.

The approval of pre-kindergarten applications may be delayed by uncertainties about program funding and by an ongoing court case that involves the level of state support for the program and the criteria that must be applied to determine which students can enroll. Because of these uncertainties, parents seeking to enroll their child in the program are encouraged to make plans for alternative child care arrangements in the event their child cannot attend. Parents will also want to note that after school child care is not available for children in the pre-kindergarten program.

In the past two years, there have been nine pre-kindergarten classrooms in the WCS system, two at Hardin Park School and one at each of the other elementary schools. Each classroom has a teacher and a teacher assistant and typically serves 18 children. The WCS pre-kindergarten program began eleven years ago with half day programs at Bethel and Parkway and expanded to a full school day in all the elementary schools by fall of 2007.

For more information, call 828-264-7190, or visit www.watauga.k12.nc.us.