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Three new Pre-K classes funded for CCS

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools has been awarded Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education grant funding for three new First Class Pre-K classrooms for 4-year-olds.

Grant recipients were announced on April 30.

Funds will bring the first state preschool classroom to Isabella High School, Verbena High School at the Annex and Maplesville High School for the 2018-2019 school year. Each school will have one classroom.

“I can’t say enough about the administration at these schools who reached out and wrote these grants for the programs,” CCS Superintendent Tommy Glasscock said.

He said he was “really excited” to have three more schools offering preschool classes.

“Especially for our Maplesville area where we have seen a decline in enrollment, I think this is the thing that that community needed,” Glasscock said. “I think it is foundational for that community, so I think we are going to see that community grow with a First Class Pre-K program.”

VHS applied for and received $120,000. MHS and IHS applied for and received $150,000.

Applications for the classrooms will be approved on a lottery basis, the same as the system used for the existing Clanton and Jemison First Class Pre-K classrooms.

Applications will be accepted at the individual schools. Applications will be available starting online sometime in May.

In the 2018-2019 school year, Chilton County Schools will have a total of 13 First Class Pre-K classrooms. Thorsby High School is the only school that will not have a First Class Pre-K classroom.  Ashlie Harrison, CCS Department of Teaching and Learning, said THS plans to apply for funds for a Pre-K classroom for the 2019-2020 school year.

Harrison said teacher and auxiliary positions for the new classroom are posted on the Chilton County Schools website (chilton.k12.al.us).

According to a press release for the governor’s office, the Alabama Legislature increased   funding for First Class Pre-K by $18.5 million this year. This allowed for funding for new classrooms and a 2.5 percent raise in pay for Pre-K teachers in the 2018-2019 school year.

“Having a strong start to one’s educational journey is critical to having a strong finish when it comes time to enter the workforce,” Gov. Ivey said in the press release. “Alabama’s voluntary First Class Pre-K program is, without question, the best in the nation. I am proud that we can increase the reach of this important educational opportunity, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature to further expand the availability of voluntary Pre-K.”

For more information, contact the program’s school or the CCS Office at (205) 280-3000.