With the approval of a three-year grant in June, Appalachian School learned they would have the county’s first pre-K class and 18 active 4-year-olds would begin classes with the opening of the 2017-2018 school year.
Wheels began to quickly turn as preparations were made to hire a teacher and an auxiliary teacher, and to develop a classroom with multiple hands-on learning stations.
The objective is for students to move from station to station and develop their cognitive abilities. Each station is equipped with puzzles, books, or other educational toys.
There were 23 students who registered for the opportunity to attend the pre-K classes. Because there were only 18 available slots, a lottery type drawing was developed. This format is expected to remain the same for the life of the grant.Appalachian principal Jonathan Cleveland said, “The pre-K learning experience has received a positive response from parents, teachers, students, and the community.” Cleveland said they are basically “learning as they go,” and have had to fine-tune some things. They will continue to assess the program and make changes as necessary.
The school is also currently in the process of having a pre-K playground area developed for the students. The playground equipment has been delivered, and the area should be completed soon.