RBES looking into adding another prekindergarten section to fill need

A new proposal for the district’s prekindergarten program and a new teaching perspective were highlighted at the Jan. 15 Red Bud Board of Education meeting.

Elementary Principal Ryan McClellan, along with prekindergarten teacher Ashley Kaiser and early childhood teacher Andrea Morris, explained the proposal of adding an additional morning and afternoon prekindergarten section.

McClellan noted that currently, the school has 20 prekindergarten students in a morning session and another 20 in the afternoon. The children that get into the program are selected following a set of preschool screenings. 

Kaiser elaborated the screenings evaluate the children’s academic skills and ability to communicate. In addition, they take into consideration each family’s income and family structure. “It is an extensive process to determine those that need it most.”

Those that attend the screenings, but are not selected for the class are put on a wait list.

“I was surprised by the number of kids on the wait list. There is almost as many on the wait list as are in the class,” McClellan told the board. “And it’s been this way for years.”

Kaiser added that all of the screening sessions are full, but she also knows that many parents don’t even bring their children to the screenings, thinking that their child will not qualify for the class.

McClellan told the board that there is definitely a need in the community for another prekindergarten class section. Currently, those that don’t get accepted either look into going elsewhere or simply don’t get a prekindergarten education.

For more from the Board of Education’s meeting, please see this week’s print edition.