Southmoreland considers Pre-K Counts
Southmoreland School District is looking at a new program that will help prepare children for kindergarten.
Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts was established by the state Department of Education and is geared to children ages 3 to 5 with a focus on those at risk of academic failure. It is available to students in households whose income does not exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty level.
Funding through the program comes from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning and is handled through the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette Inc.
“The classrooms have a certified teacher and the students learn different kinds of things (to prepare) them when they enter kindergarten, such as letter recognition, number recognition, emerging literacy skills, how to follow the rules, how to sit quietly, how to take turns, all the things that make that transition into kindergarten a lot easier,” Superintendent John Molnar told the school board at its meeting this week. “This is just one more opportunity to help us to have students entering our school ready to learn.”
The program would begin in the 2014-15 school year if approved. Shujuane Martin, director of Head Start/Early Head Start/PA Pre-K Counts, Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette County Inc., said the program has been in effect for about seven years and is being utilized in the Albert Gallatin and Uniontown school districts.
“It's been very successful,” Martin said. “It's like a mini kindergarten. It gives the kids all the preparation necessary for them to be ready for kindergarten. We hire the teachers. We manage the program. We pay the schools for the usage of space and ecumenities.”
Brown explained each classroom has two teachers, a lead teacher with a degree in early childhood education and an assistant with an associate's degree. There are at least three parent-teacher conferences held throughout the school year.
“We encourage parent involvement in the classroom,” Brown said.
There are no more than 20 children in a classroom, which allows for more one-on-one time with the teaching staff.
The program operates five days a week, six hours a day. Children are provided breakfast and lunch.
Molnar added there is a classroom available in the elementary school for the Pre-K Counts program.
The item is expected to be on the agenda when the board meets at 7 p.m. Thursday in the middle school cafeteria.
Other items expected to be on the agenda include:
• Approval of the potential 2014 graduate list which numbers 159.
• Approval of the operating budget for the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit.
Southmoreland's contribution to the Intermediate Unit budget is $14,968.18, $60.48 less than last year.
Westmoreland Intermediate Unit #7 serves Westmoreland County's 17 school districts, as well as the Clairview School, and three Westmoreland County career and technology centers, under the direct supervision of its board of directors and central administration.
Intermediate units are regional educational service agencies created by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1970 to provide support to local school districts, to expand educational services and to provide cost savings to taxpayers by eliminating service redundancy and taking advantage of economy of scale.
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Western Pa. students bristle at changing menu choices
- School lunch group hopes to revise rules it calls impractical, too restrictive
- Keystone Bakery closes Greensburg store
- H&M to open in Westmoreland Mall
- Excela, Pitt-Greensburg team on legacy videos for those in twilight of lives
- Former Fayette County Commissioner Vicites makes comeback
- Hempfield safety seminar puts focus on Bakken crude
- Greensburg still fighting waterlogged Lynch Field, may add drainage
- 4 families grow on Adoption Day in Westmoreland County
- Hempfield property tax addition pushed as township’s fire departments struggle
- Jeannette Fire Department celebrates centennial