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Pre-K pre-registration begins at VISD

By BY CAROLINA ASTRAIN - CASTRAIN@VICAD.COM
March 24, 2014 at 8:01 p.m.
Updated March 24, 2014 at 10:25 p.m.

Diego Vega, 5, and Jeramiah Martinez, 5, right,  work on a painting worksheet at Dudley Elementary School in Victoria.

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Pre-K preregistration

• WHERE: Your neighborhood elementary school

• WHEN: Now through April 4

• NOTES: Be sure to bring proof of address (utility bill, housing lease with address), birth certificate, shot record, Social Security card (optional), parent's ID, proof of eligibility (proof of income or proof of military status). In order to be eligible for the Victoria ISD's pre-K program, students must meet one of the following criteria: LEP/ELL (Limited English Proficiency/English Language Learner), free/reduced lunch, homelessness, military status or foster care.

Victoria school district early childhood director Michelle Yates said parents should avoid late registration for pre-kindergarten students if they want to keep them at their neighborhood schools.

Last fall, almost 7 percent of VISD pre-K students - 42 of the 635 enrolled - were capped to different schools, potentially as a result of late registrants, Yates said.

Yates added the district had to close down six pre-K classrooms before the 2013-14 school year only to later discover they needed two additional classrooms after the final enrollment count.

"It was hard because then we had to train the two new teachers on the pre-K curriculum," Yates said. "Some teachers we had to move to a whole new campus entirely."

New to pre-K classrooms at VISD this year are SMART Boards, which are interactive white boards that are advantageous to kinesthetic learners, Yates said.

Each of the 30 pre-K classrooms in VISD now has a SMART Board, Yates said.

Teachers and parents have been spreading the word about the importance of pre-K pre-registration through fliers and letters passed out at local congregations and businesses, Yates said.

Knowing how many students to expect before the summer helps the district gauge how many teachers it needs to hire, said Diane Boyett, VISD communications director.

Registration of all VISD grade levels is important to the district, Boyett said.

Last fall, 129 students, pre-K through fifth grade, were capped to different elementary campuses also potentially tied to late registrants, Boyett said.

Early pre-K registration for the Victoria school district began last week and will continue through April 4.

Parents who register pre-K students before April 4 can expect to receive a copy of "Clifford's First School Day," available in either Spanish or English, Yates said.

"Early registration saves the school district money because this way we have a better picture of how many staff members we are going to need," Boyett said. "If we can at least get some bottom-line numbers, it's going to help us out a lot."

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