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Two new First Class Pre-K classes coming to Madison

The new classes will help lessen the wait list for families waiting to enroll in the program.

Posted: May 15, 2018 12:06 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2019 3:29 PM

Right now, around 70 families are on a waiting list for their child to attend Madison City School's First Class Pre-Kindergarten program.

Recently, the state announced plans to add more than 100 First Class Pre-K's state wide this year and that announcement is already having an impact on waiting lists in Madison.

Out of the 107 new classes being added statewide. Two of those programs will go to Madison City Schools First Class Pre-K.

Right now, there are 162 students at Madison City Schools First Class Pre-K.

With the addition of two new classes, the school will take 36 students off the waiting list.

Families apply for the program and are entered into a random drawing.

"We draw everyone that applies and the children who don't get drawn immediately get put on a waiting list," said Angie Bush, Pre-K Administrator. 

Melanie Pezulla's child was randomly selected at a drawing, keeping her from having to go on the waiting list.

"I found out from one of the other soccer moms that played on my team. She called me and said 'hey I just heard Cici's name get called, she got in' and it was really exciting," said Pezulla.

The program lasts one year and Pezulla says she's already seeing the benefits from her child's enrollment.

"She has the opportunity before kindergarten, to learn to respect authority that's not her family, to get along with others, social skills like sharing. That is really important to set up her foundation for going into kindergarten," said Pezulla.

The Madison Pre-K Center is maxed out on space. The two new classes will be at Rainbow Elementary this fall.

"First Class Pre-K in the state of Alabama is recognized nationally as the best in the country. And we carry on that tradition, at Madison City Pre-K, we work really hard to make sure that we are developmentally appropriate for 4 and 5-year-old's through our play-based learning. So the children are ready for kindergarten, that means socially and academically," added Bush.

If you are currently on a waiting list- teachers say there are things parents can start doing at home to get their child prepared.

"Read and talk to your children, there is so much that they get from talking to you and you reading to them, they don't get that from a tablet," said Nedjra Russell, Pre-K teacher in Madison.

The state grants totaled more than $18 million for the new classrooms, making it the largest single yearly increase.

Madison City School District leaders hope to make their Pre-L program open and available to all residents over the next few years. 

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