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18 spots open for WSN pre-k

Lottery system used to choose students

Thanks to a $150,000 grant from the state department, W.S. Neal Elementary will begin the First Class Pre-K program for the 2016-17 school year.

Sandra Reid, Escambia County Elementary Director and head of the initiative to bring the program to the area said the program will be offered free to the public, and 18 students will be chosen in a public lottery. Applicants must live within the WSN school district.

Parents can register at WSN Elementary School today through June 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Required documents to register are a completed family information form and the most recent utility bill as proof of Alabama residency. Students must be age four on or before Sept. 1.

The lottery drawing will take place at WSN Elementary School at 9:30 a.m. on June 16. Families do not have to be present at the drawing in order to receive placement.

After the lottery drawing the public is encouraged to fill out the application to be put on the waitlist.

This is the second such program operated by the county school system. A.C. Moore also received a grant.

“At A.C. Moore we had a waiting list last year so we could add to it,” Reid said. “The program must maintain 18 students throughout the year. If parents continue to show interest, they can fill out a registration form to be put on the waiting list. That waiting list is checked every month. If a student relinquishes his or her spot the next name on the waiting list will be chosen.”

The $150,000 grant will go towards salaries and start up costs, said Reid. A teacher and aide will be in the classroom at all times. The preschoolers will follow the rules and policies of the school and wear uniforms. Students can also participate in any activities and opportunities with an accompanying aide.

School board superintendent John Knott said the Pre-K program will be an asset to the East Brewton community.

“I cannot give enough credit to (Reid),” he said. “She has taken this program and ran with it. Our program at A.C. Moore has been recognized as a stellar program for Pre-K across the state. I expect great things at Neal as well.”