JISD hopes to add full time Pre-K classes next fall

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POSTED: Monday, February 25, 2013 - 6:21pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 10:35am

The Jacksonville School District will possibly be adding a full time pre- kindergarten class to all four of their elementary schools.

Jacksonville Pre-K students only attend school for three and a half hours a day.

This half day schedule really crams too much information and learning into a short amount of time.

"Sometimes you feel like you don't have time to breathe. They are learning a lot but I feel that if we can spend more time with literacy and with math they are going to feel better prepared when they go to kindergarten," said Fred Douglass Pre-K teacher Sherry Thomas.

Thomas has been a Pre-K teacher at Fred Douglass Elementary for a year.

Before that, she taught kindergarten for two years.

Thomas says kindergarten is very fast paced and with the half day schedule, many students fall behind.

"If they haven't had (pre) kindergarten, they are really behind. We then have to spend time getting them where they need to be to become successful."

The full time program will add students to a rotation schedule like the rest of the school.

The Pre-K students will be able to go more in depth on their literary skills, be able to take classes such as art and music, and have more recess time and P.E.

Research shows kids who are able to work on their gross motor skills, like jumping running and structured activities, are more likely to have stronger reading skills.

Fred Douglass Principal Dr. Amber Penn says the social aspect of school is very important for a child's development.

"The kids will be able to go out and play, we will get a lunch, we will get all the social skills that are so important for a four-year-olds development,"said Penn. 

JISD hopes Pre-K students will learn all of their letters, sounds,shapes and colors and be fully prepared before entering kindergarten.

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But it has just been shown by a huge study that Pre-K does no good. It's all about providing jobs to babysitters and calling it education.

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