City of Lanett pledges start-up funding for Pre-K expansion
In February Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy (seated) and Lanett City Schools Superintendent Phillip Johnson (left) visited the Lanett Pre-K classroom at it’s temporary location at the Lanett Community Center. Mayor McCoy and Superintendent Johnson interacted with students and observed their activities at each “station,” and the Mayor spoke about being a community helper, which is a topic that the class was studying at the time. The City of Lanett and Lanett City School are partnering to expand the Pre-K program to a second classroom.
LANETT, AL (March 10, 2016) – On Monday, March 7, the Lanett City Council unanimously approved a resolution pledging support to the expansion of Lanett City School’s Pre-K program. The move could pave the way for the creation of a second Pre-K classroom and the enlargement of the highly successful program.
By approving the resolution, the city can now provide $30,000 to the school system to purchase start-up materials and supplies for a new classroom, which is a requirement for the program to be approved by the Governor’s Office of School Readiness.
Lanett City Schools Superintendent Phillip Johnson, Mayor Kyle McCoy and the Lanett City Council have been working together to facilitate the expansion of the Pre-K program with the ultimate goal of providing access to early education for every four-year-old in the community.
Lanett’s current Pre-K program has been in place for two years and has seen resounding success and participation. State regulations limit the number of students in a classroom to 18 and each year the program has been at capacity, in fact, there is a waiting list to enroll. This demand is one of many reasons why the school and city have decided to seek expansion.
“The community has been extremely pleased and excited to have the current classroom,” Mayor McCoy said. “It provides children with the needed skills and experiences to be better prepared for kindergarten. A second classroom will help ensure that more of our young learners attend kindergarten ready, eager and excited to learn.”
“Its our goal to increase the number of children in Lanett that have access to early learning opportunities,” Superintendent Johnson said. “Students get a sense of community through this program, they learn about jobs and roles and it readies them for interaction, learning and sharing with other students. The addition of a new classroom will benefit the growth of the school system and of the city itself and that’s why this is such a good partnership.”
The action taken by the city sets in motion the application process to expand the program. Lanett City School will now apply for approval through the Governor’s Office of School Readiness to be certified for a second Pre-K classroom. The state provides funding for the program once it begins, but it requires the applying entity to cover all start-up costs and materials, which are subject to significant scrutiny in order to be approved.
If approved, the second Pre-K classroom would serve an additional 18 children and would be located at W.O. Lance Elementary. The current Pre-K classroom is normally housed at Lance Elementary but has been temporarily relocated to the Lanett Community Center due to the flooding of the school. Superintendent Johnson says that a long-term goal would be for the city to expand the program to the point that a separate facility dedicated specifically to Pre-K education could be constructed.
While the application process is ongoing, registration for the existing Pre-K classroom for the 2016-2017 school year is about to get underway. Registration will take place from March 14-24 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm at W.O. Lance Elementary School. Enrollment is open to all children four years of age (on or before September 1, 2016) who are residents of the state of Alabama and there is no cost of attendance. Acceptance to the program is through a random selection drawing that will be held on June 2 at 10:00 am at the Lanett Board of Education.