Starting in the 2022-23 school year, Round Rock ISD will partner with nonprofit United Way for Greater Austin to offer an early childhood prekindergarten program for eligible 3-year-olds.

Through the program, RRISD and United Way will partner with a number of local child care centers, allowing 3-year-olds enrolled in those centers to co-enroll in RRISD’s PK3 program.

Classes will take place directly at the child care centers, with RRISD and United Way providing curriculum, teachers, aides and support. According to district materials, curriculum will focus on developing oral language and social-emotional skills.

Madison Mattise, director of Pre-K Partnerships at United Way for Greater Austin, said United Way is still working to finalize the list of child care centers where the program will be available, but she said she expects around 10 centers to participate in the program’s first year.

Matisse said the program will allow students who would otherwise be receiving ordinary day care to get a head start on schooling.

“It’s a win-win for the child care center as well as Round Rock ISD because they can serve more kids and make sure they’re getting high quality pre-K3,” Matisse said.

RRISD Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez said the partnership could also prove a financial boon for the district, as RRISD will receive a portion of the average daily attendance for students enrolled in the program, which is a significant factor in determining how much state aid a district receives.

Another planned portion of the partnership is opening an in-district charter school where pre-K students can enroll. Matisse said United Way hopes to submit a charter application to the RRISD board of trustees before the board’s November meeting.

“That way we can operate even more so as a campus inside Round Rock ISD,” Matisse said.

Structure of the partnership

The services Round Rock ISD and United Way will each contribute to the partnership are broken down as follows:
Round Rock ISD provides United Way:

  • access to necessary district platforms;

  • training on enrollment process;

  • collaboration on individualized services such as SPED;

  • support with language testing; and

  • support with transition to PK4/kinder.

United Way manages and supports:

  • child care center recruitment and subcontracting;

  • student enrollment;

  • attendance invoicing;

  • instructional coaching;

  • assessment; and

  • data analysis.

Source: Round Rock ISD/Community Impact Newspaper