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An old church gives new life to Pre-K program in Muscle Shoals

Muscle Shoals City Schools announced plans to expand their First Class Pre-K program in the fall of 2022.

Posted: May 11, 2021 6:25 PM

An old church is about to get new life, and it will give some Shoals parents options for their children’s educations.

Muscle Shoals City Schools announced plans to expand their First Class Pre-K program in the fall of 2022.

"We just don't have enough Pre-K offerings for our city's young families, and for a city our size and a district our size, we should have more than one First Class Pre-K program," said Muscle Shoals City Schools Superintendent, Chad Holden.

Currently, Muscle Shoals City Schools only has one Pre-K class with 18 students, but the demand is much higher.

"We always have a waiting list for our Pre-K program. In fact, this last year, I think we had to turn away about 80 families that would have qualified for our program had we have had the space," said Holden.

As of Monday, the school system purchased the First Church of Nazarene to act as the Pre-K building starting in fall 2022.

"We feel good about the site that we've chosen. Obviously, we'll have to do some renovating," said Holden.

After some renovations, the application process will be the same lottery system that is currently in place, but with three new Pre-K classes in the building, they will be able to teach 72 students compared to the current 18.

The preschool principal thanks the community for wanting to invest in their children's educations.

"I think it says a lot about our parents and our community about the fact that they realize education is so important," said Principal Sheneta Smith.

She notices how Pre-K students are one step ahead compared to the other students, and Superintendent Holden agrees.

"The more ready they are for kindergarten, the more success they'll have and the success just follows them all the way through school," said Holden.

This expansion is part of the Muscle Shoals City Schools' five-year capital plan, which also includes replacing the roof at the high school and bathroom renovations at Webster Elementary.

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