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Superintendent's column: Enrolling in pre-K is important step for kids

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
Aug. 17, 2013 at 3:17 a.m.


As we prepare for another outstanding school year in the Victoria Independent School District, we are extremely excited about the many opportunities and endless possibilities that await our students. One way to create excellence for all students is to provide a comprehensive early childhood program that prepares pre-K students to handle the rigors of classroom instruction and to enhance their readiness for regular school academia.

This summer, teachers and paraprofessionals from our elementary schools attended the first ever VISD Pre-Kindergarten Institute. During their five days of training, educators refocused on the Texas Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines, which align perfectly to our new Developmental Learning Materials (DLM) curriculum. DLM offers comprehensive, child-centered instruction with strong teacher support and an emphasis on 21st-century technology. It focuses on literacy, math, science, social studies, fine arts, health and safety, personal development, physical development and technology. It links essential disciplines to make instruction more relevant, which also helps children recognize patterns in their learning.

The Victoria ISD believes strongly in the benefits of early education instruction, and we are passionate in our commitment to the 746 pre-K students we are currently serving in our schools. Studies show that students who participate in strong early education programs are more likely to graduate in four years, take more advanced and higher level courses and are less likely to drop out of school than students who did not attend an early education program. Research also indicates that students who attend a high-quality early education program were better equipped to face the rigors of school as well as life.

If you have a child who will be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, they may be eligible for prekindergarten in the VISD. Registrations are still being accepted at all elementary schools. To determine if your child is eligible, visit or call your school office or call the VISD Federal Programs office at 361-788-9294. Families who register prekindergarten students will receive an invitation for the first ever "Minnow Camp Kickoff" to be held in all prekindergarten classrooms Aug. 22 from 6-7:30 p.m.

"Minnow Camp Kickoff" is a special time reserved for our youngest students to visit their new school. During this special event, prekindergarten students will visit their classrooms, meet their teachers and classmates and enjoy various activities. Attending this exciting event will help prepare your child for a successful first day of school and allow them to become familiar with their new school. Also, during our Minnow Camp Kickoff, parents will have the opportunity to learn more about campus procedures, receive information on the importance of pre-K and explore the reasons our home/school partnerships are essential to the success of our young students. All registered VISD prekindergarten and Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities students who attend "Minnow Camp Kickoff" will receive a free "Class of 2027" T-shirt, a set of alphabet letters with activities, a book from our friends at H-E-B and family support tips.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated: "The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." On behalf of our board of trustees and the entire VISD, thank you for supporting our students' ability to dream big for a brighter future.

Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website, visd.com.

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