Austin ISD to increase pre-K offerings

Austin ISD pre-k3 Pleasant Hill Elementary Austin ISD board of trustees members, staff and supporters of the district's pre-K3 program tour a pre-K3 classroom at Pleasant Hill Elementary School on May 5 after the district's announcement about plans to double pre-k3 capacity.[/caption]

Austin ISD will be doubling the size of its program for pre-kindergarten for three-year-olds, known as the pre-K3 program, in the 2016-17 school year, said Michelle Wallis, executive director of the AISD Office of Innovation and Development at a news conference May 5.

The pre-K3 program will be offered to more than 1,000 students and extended to 13 more schools, including Casey Elementary School and Kocurek Elementary School in Southwest Austin.

AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz said pre-K3 provides a strong academic foundation that helps students to develop literacy and vocabulary at an early age.

"There are so many wonderful opportunities in Austin, and it's great—the music, the food. ... When you ask some families about Austin, that is not their Austin. ... What we are all about is making sure all of our families get those experiences," he said, noting education programs can help students excel academically and socially.

The pre-K3 expansion was funded by groups such as the Buena Vista Foundation, Cullen Family Charitable Foundation, the Gottesman Family, Tapestry Foundation and United Way for Greater Austin, Wallis said.

AISD launched pre-K3 on a pilot basis in 2013 at two schools. Including the 13 new schools to be added in the 2016-17 school year, there will be 26 schools offering pre-K3.

Go here to find more information about AISD's pre-K3 program.