York City has open pre-K spots

Alyssa Jackson
  • The district has open spots in its Pre-K program, particularly at the Davis K-8 school
  • The pre-K program is free for parents and helps prepare students for kindergarten the following year

York City School District is looking for more 4-year-olds to attend its pre-K program this year. The district has a number of open spots in 13 pre-K classrooms, particularly at Davis K-8, according to district spokeswoman Erin James.

Any child who was 4 years old by Aug. 31 and lives in York City is qualified to attend the program in any of the seven K-8 buildings in the district. This means that students don't necessarily need to attend their neighborhood building. James explained that if the building closest to the child has no available spots, the child can go to a different building.

Each K-8 building has at least one pre-K classroom, but several buildings have more than one. The pre-K program originally started with six classrooms and has grown. James said the ultimate goal is to have a pre-K spot available for every 4-year-old in the city.

The goal is to get these youngsters ready for kindergarten, and James said there's proof, in independent research and in the district's numbers, that children who attend pre-K programs do better academically in the long run.

"Research says that early education is key to a student's success, and we’ve seen that show in our own data that we’ve collected over the years," she said. "We can see that they score higher on standardized tests, so we know it’s working, and we want it to work for more and more kids."

The class sizes are limited to 20 students, and each class has one certified teacher and assistant teacher. James said a big focus in the pre-K program is literacy and reading, so the teachers frequently have guest readers come in to spend time with the kids. Each classroom also has an "Officer Friendly" from the school's police department to foster positive relationships between children and law enforcement at a young age. Children attend the program from 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day.

Report: York City pre-K students score higher on later exams

Guardians interested in sending their children to the pre-K program need to be able to provide a birth certificate, immunization records, a proof of address and a proof of income. James encouraged interested community members to call the district's administration office at 845-3571 ext. 4052 to learn more or begin the registration steps.

"It's a good way to gain some social skills before kindergarten," James said.