For the 2021-2022 school year, West Plains Elementary will move to a half-day preschool program in two classrooms, announced West Plains R-7 School District officials.
The change, officials explained, will allow the district to increase enrollment availability, which is needed at the school. South Fork Elementary will remain a full-day preschool with one class.
“A significant focus in the West Plains School District Comprehensive School Improvement plan is early childhood education. The goal is to ensure every child in the community is prepared for kindergarten,” said Lana Snodgras, director of communications and community relations for the district.
“One of the steps to ensure our children's needs are met was to explore partnerships with area early childhood programs, to develop creative ways to meet our families' needs, and educate the vast majority of children beginning at age 4,” she explained. “Research shows investing in children early has enormous benefits, not only to academic and cognitive skills, but early childhood education helps children improve social and emotional skills, language skills and adaptive skills, which are necessary for kindergarten readiness.”
The district has also announced preschool and kindergarten screening dates for both of its elementary schools.
Preschool screening for South Fork Elementary and West Plains Elementary will be held by appointment only on April 9 at the West Plains Civic Center.
The screenings are free to any child in the West Plains School District who will be 4 years old before Aug. 1.
Kindergarten screening is free to any child within the who will be 5 years old before Aug. 1. Children will have the opportunity to interact with the kindergarten staff and play games that assess their fine and gross motor skills and their language and concept skills.
Those students who would be entering kindergarten at West Plains Elementary will be screened April 7 and 8 at the civic center, while those entering kindergarten at South Fork Elementary will be screened April 23 at the school. Both schools will offer screenings by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call West Plains Elementary, 256-6158, or South Fork Elementary, 256-2836.
Parents and guardians accompanying their children are asked to provide a birth certificate, immunization records and proof of residency, such as a utility bill.