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RCS announces registration for First Class Pre-K

It might be the middle of winter, but West Elementary School is already preparing for the coming school year.

WES is currently holding registration for Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program at WES, which is a nationally-recognized Pre-K program that sets school-ready children up for success as they continue through their educational careers.

The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education reports numerous studies have shown that students who have participated in high-quality pre-kindergarten programs are less likely to repeat a grade, require remedial education or be placed in special education. They are also primed to score higher on achievement tests, are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college and get higher paying salaries as adults.

Online applications for WES Pre-K can be filled out at https://alprek.asapconnected.com. Applications will be accepted through March 12.

“We are so proud of our Pre-K program here at WES and the benefits it offers for our students,” said WES Principal Deanna Hollimon. “Children are exposed to age-appropriate learning through hands-on activities and lessons. They are gaining foundational knowledge that will better prepare them for kindergarten and beyond.”

Hollimon said participation in Pre-K is also a wonderful way to introduce a child to the social aspects of school.

“We can’t tell you how many parents we have talked to who said their child’s adjustment to kindergarten was so much easier after having been part of our Pre-K program,” she said. “These children are not only familiar with the school, but they’re also familiar with routines, sitting quietly for lessons, interacting with other students and other aspects that come into play once you start school.”

Hollimon said in addition to Pre-K registration, WES is also holding

kindergarten registration for the 2020-2021 school year Feb. 3-21.

“We are already getting excited about this next school year and our newest class of Golden Tigers,” she said. “Our slogan is ‘The Tradition Begins Here,’ and we take that seriously. Russellville City Schools is known for its tradition of excellence in whatever we do, and the students in our system start learning about all of that tradition right here.

“Getting off to the right start in a child’s education is so important, and our educators here do such a great job laying that foundation for these students to be lifelong learners.”

For those students who fall into the category of English Language Learners, Superintendent Heath Grimes said RCS has multiple resources in place to make sure their ELL students stay on track.

“At RCS, about 25 percent of our student population is classified as ELL,” he said. “However, we are still performing at a high level as a district. That says a lot about our teachers and support staff who work directly with our ELL students to help them succeed.

“They are constantly working to stay up-to-date on what this facet of our student population needs, and it shows.”

Enrollment in Pre-K at WES is open to all children who will be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2020, and are residents of Alabama.

Enrollees must provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate and proof of residency – either a current utility bill or a copy of a loan or mortgage. Upon enrollment, the child’s immunization form must be provided.

Acceptance to the program is strictly through a random drawing that will be held March 13 at 9 a.m. at the RCS Board of Education. A parent/guardian does not have to be present for the drawing.

For those interested in registering for kindergarten at WES, registration will take place Monday through Friday, Feb. 3-21, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Russellville Board of Education, 1945 Waterloo Road, Russellville. Children who will be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2020, are eligible.

Documents required to register include: birth certificate; Alabama shot record (not expired); lease, rental agreement or deed; and a corresponding utility bill.

For more information about either of these registrations, visit https://www.rcs.k12.al.us and navigate to the West Elementary page.