What is Voluntary Pre-K and Where is It Located?
What is the Voluntary Pre-K Program?
The Voluntary Pre-kindergarten program (VPre-K) is a state funded readiness program for at-risk children who are 4 years of age on August 15. “At risk” is defined by the state as economically disadvantaged. Due to state funding, there are limited classrooms available in Sumner County and priority placement is given to families that are economically disadvantaged or to children who have lost a parent due to war. Other “at-risk” factors may be used to determine eligibility may include, but are not limited to: English as a second language, foster care, social-emotional behaviors, and family/environmental factors. The VPre-K program provides a foundation for learning and successful transition to the school environment.
Does every elementary school have a Voluntary Pre-K class?
No, the Tennessee State Department of Education does not provide enough funding for a VPre-K program in every elementary school in Sumner County. However, any child residing in Sumner County may apply to any of the Voluntary PreK classrooms. Classes are open-zoned to all eligible four-year-olds throughout the district.
Which schools have a Voluntary Pre-K class?
VPre-K classes are located at Westmoreland Elementary, Millersville Elementary, J.W. Wiseman Elementary, and Vena Stuart Elementary. These locations span throughout the Sumner County School District. Each year, the locations are determined based on the applications received, as well as space availability within the elementary school. VPre-K classes may be moved from one school to another to best serve the families of Sumner County.
I thought my zoned school had a Pre-K, but it is not one of the four listed under Voluntary Pre-K.
Yes, many other schools do have a Pre-K program. While only four elementary schools have Voluntary Pre-K, others have developmental Pre-K, which includes typical peers. Typical peers is a program designed to support children with developmental delays. However, the typical peers Pre-K runs through pupil services and has only four spots per class. That program is at approximately thirteen elementary schools, but the application process and classroom structure are slightly different. To learn more or to apply for the typical peers program, see Typical Peers.
Does my child have to be zoned for the school to which we apply?
No, in fact, if you live in Sumner County, you can apply for any of the VPre-K programs. Since there are only four classrooms, there may not be one at your zoned elementary school. Some families prefer to send their child to the one closest to their home while others prefer to send their child to the one closest to the parent’s work. At the time of registration, families will be asked to provide proof of residence within Sumner County.
What are the hours and days of the Voluntary Pre-K class?
The VPre-K class meets Monday through Friday for 5 ½ hours. VPre-K class follows the Sumner County Schools calendar, unless otherwise specified. Attendance is required for all five days each week, and families must agree to the Pre-K attendance policy before enrolling in VPre-K. The hours for 2020-2021 are as follows:
J.W. Wiseman: 7:40-1:10
Millersville Elementary: 7:30-1:00
Vena Stuart Elementary: 7:30-1:00
Westmoreland Elementary: 8:00-1:30