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Wednesday , July 17 2019
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Home | Tag Archives: yisd pre-k

Tag Archives: yisd pre-k

Ysleta ISD announces new full-day Pre-K starting in August

On Tuesday, officials with the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced that the district is now offering a new full-day pre-kindergarten program free of charge at select campuses for qualified El Paso-area families for the 2019-2020 academic year that begins in August.

“Ysleta ISD is now the first among the city’s three largest public school districts to offer the new full-day pre-K program, thanks to the passage of House Bill 3, which was signed into law last week and provides state funding for full-day pre-K programs for families who meet certain criteria,” district officials shared.

Since HB3 was signed into law, YISD officials have worked promptly and diligently to make the full-day program available at select campuses to families this upcoming school year. As a result, registration packets are now available at each participating campus.

Families in El Paso County can qualify for full-day pre-K if their student is four-years-old on or before Sepember 1, and meets one of the following criteria:

  • Unable to speak and comprehend the English language;
  • Educationally disadvantaged, which means a student eligible to participate in the national free or reduced-price lunch program;
  • Is homeless, as defined by 42 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 1143a, regardless of the residence of the child, of either parent of the child, or of the child’s guardian or other person having lawful control of the child;
  • Is the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who is ordered to active duty by proper authority;
  • Is the child of a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who was injured or killed while serving on active duty;
  • Is in, or have been in, the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) following an adversary hearing held as provided by Section 262.201, Family Code; or
  • Is the child of a person eligible for the Star of Texas Award as a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical first responder.

Due to the limited space, spots in full-day pre-K classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Campuses with full-day pre-K classes are as follows: the Parkland and Ysleta Pre-K centers; and Constance Hulbert, East Point, Eastwood Heights, Edgemere, Glen Cove, LeBarron Park, Loma Terrace, Pasodale, Pebble Hills, Scotsdale, Tierra Del Sol, and Vista Hills elementary schools.

For more information regarding Ysleta ISD’s pre-K program and the registration process, visit the website.

Advocates: Include Variety of Schools in Pre-K Program

Early education advocates on Tuesday urged the Texas Education Agency to ensure that a diverse group of school districts will be able to apply for funding through a new state grant program designed to bolster the quality of pre-kindergarten.

House Bill 4, which was championed by Gov. Greg Abbott and passed by the Legislature this year, established a pre-kindergarten grant program that will divvy up $118 million over two years — up to $1,500 per student — to school districts and charter schools that meet state standards on curriculum, teacher certification and parent engagement.

Early education was the first of five “emergency” items outlined during the legislative session by Abbott. He pushed the pre-kindergarten bill through by large margins despite opposition from the far-right faction of his party, which criticized the legislation for “threatening parental rights.  

At a public hearing Tuesday, the Texas Education Agency sought feedback as it crafts rules for the program. The agency plans to complete a draft of the rules this winter and begin implementing the program next fall, spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe said.

A dozen representatives of schools, districts and advocacy groups shared their ideas for the program at the hearing.

Among them was Lacy Carter of the Arlington Independent School District. She asked the agency to consider giving districts flexibility in designing early education offerings, allowing them to tailor their programs to local needs. She also asked the agency to focus on certain characteristics of districts when issuing the grants.

“Give priority to campuses and districts with high concentrations of students who are economically disadvantaged and/or are English language learners,” she said.

Others asked the agency to consider unique cases, such as schools offering Montessori programs in which there is an emphasis on establishing independence.

“As you decide what high-quality pre-K looks like in the state of Texas, please ensure that Montessori schools are included,” said Sara Cotner, founder of Montessori for All in Austin. “Please take into consideration that Montessori classrooms intentionally have larger teacher-to-student ratios, larger class sizes and students of different ages in the classroom.”

Chandra Villanueva, a policy analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank, said the program should establish class size limits and should include funding for full-day pre-K programs, not just half-day programs. She also asked the education agency to consider setting the grant amount at the maximum $1,500 per student.

After the hearing, Villanueva said the funding allocated for the program is relatively small, so its impact depends on which districts receive the funding.

“The grants aren’t really that significant in the big picture of things,” Villanueva said. But, she added, “if we focus on quality and really try to build up a cohort of quality programs, then we could potentially make that scaleable for the rest of the state and bring those quality measures to more districts.”

Disclosure: The Center for Public Policy Priorities is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Author:  – The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, pol itics, government and statewide issues.

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