A Novel Way to Expand Pre-K

The Clinton School District understands the importance of pre-K for preparing their students to succeed in school. In the 2011-2012 school year, 88 percent of third graders at the elementary school were proficient or above on the Benchmark exam for literacy.

Since 2003, the district has operated two pre-K classrooms for 3- and 4-year-old children, which they support with funding from the Arkansas Better Chance for School Success program. Soon after the district opened those classrooms, the program was so popular that not only did they have a waiting list, they found that teachers in the district wanted to enroll their children in the program.

In 2008, Clinton administrators learned that NSLA funds could be used to pay for pre-K programs. Understanding the importance of pre-K and the demand from the local community, school leaders proposed to the local school board the use of NSLA funds to support another pre-K classroom. The school board agreed and committed NSLA funding to support a master’s degree-level teacher and a teacher’s aide for an additional pre-K program.

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