FWCS expands Pre-K program

A Study Elementary School teacher reads to a Pre-K class on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne Community Schools will expand its Title I pre-kindergarten program by offering full-day programs at two new elementary schools next year.

The district will offer full-day Pre-K at Adams and Study elementary schools beginning in the 2018-19 school year. What’s more, beginning in the fall, Fort Wayne Community Schools will also accept On My Way Pre-K grants at all Title I pre-K locations.

The expansion was unveiled during a press conference Tuesday at Study Elementary School at 2414 Brooklyn Ave.

“We are excited to be able to offer full-day pre-K at Adams and Study, which will give students extra time to learn in a fun, age-appropriate learning environment,” said Get Nichols, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education. “While we make the most of our time in our half-day programs, these two schools will have the opportunity to expand lessons and explore concepts at a deeper level. At the end of the school year, we will evaluate the programs’ success to determine if we can expand other programs to full day.”

Earlier this school year, Fort Wayne Community Schools announced the pre-K program at Whitney Young Early Childhood Center and pre-K for 4-year-olds at Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center, which are both magnet schools, would be full day beginning in the fall.

FWCS offers half-day pre-K at 15 additional schools, and beginning next year, all Title I pre-K programs will accept On My Way Pre-K grants. This year, Adams and Bloomingdale elementary schools accepted the grants as a pilot program. Next year, all 17 elementary schools with Title I pre-K will have spots available for students qualifying for the grant.

“We believe in the value of quality early childhood education,” Nichols said. “By expanding the number of schools accepting On My Way Pre-K grants, we are providing more access to our successful pre-kindergarten programs. We know that the sooner children enter a high quality program, the more success they will have in kindergarten and beyond.”