This initiative stems from changes made by Texas lawmakers as a result of the 2019 legislative session. The new law requires all pre-K programs offered to eligible students be full-day, according to the Texas Education Agency.
The district, at this time, has a half-day option with about 400 students, said Carrie Pearson, early learning program director, in an email. It is offered at the two early learning center campuses, which also include a full-day option.
Additionally, KISD announced a third early learning center campus with its newly rented space at Harvest Christian Academy. It will not be affiliated with the private school, according to the KISD news release.
This third campus will likely begin offering full-day pre-K classes in January, Pearson said in her email.
“We are shooting for January 20; however, we are working through a number of details, including the hiring of teachers,” Pearson said. “We are in the process of interviewing now but will not start until we find the best qualified candidates for the positions.”
Students on a wait list for KISD’s two other early learning centers will be offered spots at this new campus.
“Eligible families are welcome to register for remaining spots,” the news release states.
Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, this full-day program will expand to 13 KISD elementary schools, but that may change depending on enrollment numbers, according to the news release.
To qualify for the full-day pre-K program for free, children must be four years old before the program starts and meet any of the following criteria:
- Unable to speak and comprehend the English language;
- Educationally disadvantaged (a student who is eligible to participate in the National Free or Reduced-Price Lunch program);
- The child of an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces;
- The child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who was injured or killed while on active duty;
- In or have been in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (foster care); or
- The child of a person eligible for the Star of Texas Award.
Those who do not qualify for the free program may have the opportunity to participate in a tuition-based program. Tuition is tentatively set at $6,500 per school year.
Families can preregister with an "intent to enroll" application through April 1, according to the news release. KISD officials will contact preregistered families to set up registration appointments beginning in March. Tuition-paying students will be placed in a lottery system to attend full-day programs at four elementary schools.
More information is available here.