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A Word from VISD: Pre-K: The first step towards excellence

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
Jan. 12, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 11, 2013 at 7:12 p.m.

Robert Jaklich

As the 83rd legislative session opened this week, discussions surrounding Texas' growth and improving public education are among the key issues our legislators are facing. Senate president pro tempore Leticia Van De Putte stated, "We have a duty to invest in our future, in the human capital of Texas, in education for all Texans. Education is the pathway to jobs that provides the tool kit for self-sufficiency. Education is the fuel of our economic engine."

In 2011, the Texas Legislature cut $5.4 billion dollars from public education including $1.1 billion dollars in grants and monies for pre-K services.

As school districts across the state struggle to meet the financial challenges in terms of school funding, the VISD Board of Trustees along with our school district remains steadfast in our commitment to provide our students with a full-day pre-kindergarten experience.

Early childhood education initiatives such as the Victoria ISD pre-kindergarten (pre-K) are designed to prepare students to handle the rigors of classroom instruction and enhance their readiness for regular school academia. To prepare our students for a successful school experience, we are targeting necessary academic skills such as language, mathematics and social interaction to give the advanced preparation that they need for successful learning. These early interventions allow our pre-K students to be successful at a much faster pace.

Pre-K instruction increases our students' academic skills (language development), as well as enhancing social skills, improving emotional and motor skills, problem solving techniques and building relationship abilities. Early childhood educational programs also include ongoing evaluations of our students that can identify early interventions, such as speech processing and learning difficulties.

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.

Robert Louis Stevenson once stated, "To be what we are and to become what we are capable of becoming is the only end in life." It has been said that our destiny is not a matter of chance but one of choice. On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire VISD, we thank you for choosing to believe in "Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day."

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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