On Thursday, June 6, a grant awarded to the Blount County Education Foundation by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education will allow the addition of two Alabama First Class Pre-K units for Blount County four-year-old students beginning this fall. Hayden Primary and Locust Fork Elementary will join three other schools that already have pre-K programs in the county.
Appalachian will begin its third year of the program, while Cleveland Elementary will begin its second year. Head Start, who partners with the Blount County Board of Education, operates the third pre-K class located at Susan Moore Elementary.
Registration is now open for the new classes, but will close on July 7. Interested parents need to contact their local school to register the student.
A random drawing will choose the students for the classes. Each student will have a placement in the drawing. The first 16 to 18 will be notified and invited to attend this fall. The remaining applicants are placed on a waiting list in the order they were drawn. When there are openings, the next student on the list will be invited to attend.
The drawing will be held on July 8 at 8 a.m. for the Locust Fork students and at 10 a.m. the same day for the Hayden Primary students. Alabama First Class Pre-K program guidelines are being adhered to for this process and there is no charge for students to attend any of the pre-K programs.
The hiring process for the additional staff positions is also underway. Each class will have a teacher and an auxiliary teacher. After the required posting period, principals will interview applicants and make recommendations to the BCBOE for approval.
In addition, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham has awarded the Blount County Education Foundation a $50,000 grant to support the installation of a designated playground at both Locust Fork and Hayden Primary. This grant provides further support of the pre-K programs.
Blount County Board of Education superintendent Rodney Green said, “We are so happy to be able to add Alabama First Class Pre-K units at Hayden Primary and Locust Fork to open this fall. This program for four year olds is extremely effective and beneficial to our communities. We are grateful to the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education and the Community Foundation for these grants.”