The numbers are in and a record 1,222 pre-k students were registered at elementary schools during the Socorro Independent School District’s Pre-Kindergarten registration.
District officials share that the number is a 26 percent increase from last year, and they mark the registration push as “highly successful.” Currently, about 1,900 children are in SISD’s pre-k program.
“We are proud that we had a very good turnout,” said Marivel Macias, assistant superintendent of administrative services at SISD. “All the campuses were elated at the numbers. Early childhood education is key and here we are looking at all these future SISD scholars. This was a true team effort.”
The district is still registering students for free half-day Pre-K to all students who live in the district and will be four years old by Sept. 1, 2018, regardless if they don’t meet state requirements.
Last year, SISD introduced full-day Pre-K classes across the district. The classes are based on a first-come, first serve basis. They are free to those who qualify based on economic, language, homeless or military (active) requirements as established by the state.
Families, who do not qualify for free all-day Pre-K, can enroll their children in a free half-day and tuition-based for the other half. The tuition is $181.68 per month for a 10-month school year.
By registering early, parents of pre-k students are at an advantage and soon will be receiving more information about the upcoming school year, she said.
“They can learn about what uniforms they need and other information,” Macias said. “They are ahead of the game.”
At Escontrias Early Childhood Center, parents and future students were not only greeted with an organized, efficient registration system, but the school had the Socorro High School mariachis and cheerleaders, Socorro Middle drumline and free hot dogs and chips for everyone.
“We wanted to make this a great experience for the parents,” said Belinda Calderon, school counselor. “We wanted to show them we care. Every single teacher is here today. We want parents to know their kids are important to us that is why we are all here.”
Jaime and Veronica Moran were at Escontrias to register their son, Jaime Daniel. They sat enjoying the mariachis and the food.
“This is our favorite school,” Veronica Moran said. “We feel comfortable bringing our son here.”
Elvia Gomez, mother of Leo Serrano, 4, agreed. This will be her third child to attend Escontrias. She likes the teachers and administration, calling them good, polite and helpful. Her son is so excited about attending school, she had to buy him a Spiderman backpack two months ago.
“I had other choices,” said Gomez, who works for another district. “I didn’t have to bring him here. I wanted to. This is the best choice.”
The Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary staff were registering their new students at Pebble Hills High School. More than 50 families of pre-k
students showed up to register. Parents were excited to have their children start their education in a new school. Carrasco will open its doors on July 30, the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.
“There was no question where my son was going to go to school,” said Jose Sifuentes, as he registered his four-year-old son, Romeo. “SISD is the best in the city. They are great at educating students. That is what I wanted for him.”
Those kind of words are what make Carrasco principal Jesse Sepulveda excited about the upcoming school year. His pre-k registration went smoothly and he is looking forward to showing students and their parents the state-of-the-art school with a capacity for 800 students.
“We have met some amazing parents,” Sepulveda said. “Everyone has said they are looking forward to the first day of school.”
Three-year-old Elizabeth Leon knows her colors, can count past 20 and has been read to since before she was born. In late July, she will be starting pre-k classes at Carrasco. Patricia Leon, her mother, is a big SISD proponent.
“I want the best for her that is why I am here,” said Patricia Leon. “It’s so wonderful that she will get to go to a new school. The principal and his staff has been so helpful. They have helped us at every step. She’s already very bright, but I know my daughter will be prepared for college.”
SISD has designated the following schools to serve as the home campus for Pre-K students from other schools:
- O’Shea Keleher will serve pre-k students from O’Shea Keleher, Bill Sybert, Jane A. Hambric, Benito Martinez, Helen Ball and Elfida P. Chavez.
- Myrtle Cooper will serve pre-k students from Myrtle Cooper, John Drugan, Vista del Sol, Sierra Vista and Loma Verde.
- Horizon Heights will serve pre-k students from Horizon Heights and Dr. Sue Shook.
- Mission Ridge will serve pre-k students from Mission Ridge and Desert Wind.
- Hurshel Antwine will serve pre-k students from Hurshel Antwine, Paso del Norte and Sgt. Roberto Ituarte.
- Chester E. Jordan will serve pre-k students from Chester E. Jordan, and James P. Butler.
- Robert R. Rojas will serve pre-k students from Robert R. Rojas and Ernesto Serna School.
- SGT. Jose F. Carrasco will serve pre-k students from SGT. Jose F. Carrasco and Lujan-Chavez.
If parents need more information regarding registration or other questions about Team SISD’s Pre-K, they may contact their neighborhood elementary campus.
The registration day was held on April 7.