Families looking for preschool and kindergarten classes for their young children next school year are encouraged to register their interest as soon as possible with Durango School District 9-R.
Libby Culver, 9-R’s coordinator of early childhood programs, said so many parents were staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the district is unsure how many preschool and kindergarten classes it will need next year.
“This year, we have less information than ever before. So many families kept their kids home this year,” Culver said. “It helps us plan for next year if parents get in contact with us now. We want to have the right number of classes available, and it helps us staff appropriately.”
This year, 9-R has seven preschool classes at its elementary schools, down from 10 in the 2019-20 school year, before the pandemic.
Anyone having trouble accessing the online forms can get help by emailing Culver at email@example.com or calling her at 247-5411, ext. 1468.
Culver can help with questions about the form, and she can also provide a translator if needed. People can also call their elementary school for more information, Culver said.
“We’re trying to eliminate any barrier families might have about registering or finding out about our early childhood programs,” Culver said.
Ideally, families interested in preschool and kindergarten through 9-R should contact the district by April 15.
“We know preschool is particularly important to kids coming off a year like we had. It’s important to develop their social-emotional skills and to teach them to interact appropriately with other children their age,” Culver said.
“9-R’s preschool programs are play-based learning. It creates a fun atmosphere where children can explore and learn to love learning. That’s our primary goal,” Culver said.
Families with children who are 5 years old by Sept. 1 are guaranteed space in a 9-R kindergarten class.
However, space in 9-R’s preschools is not guaranteed, so it is particularly important for families to register their interest in preschool, so the appropriate number of classes and teachers are available, said Julie Popp, 9-R spokeswoman.
Popp also said registration for all grades for next school year is available on 9-R’s website.
9-R kindergarten is free.
Preschool cost is $560 per month for a full day, which is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. A half day is $280 per month.
Culver said preschool is free for any child with a disability.
In addition, scholarships are available for families based on an array of risk factors. The scholarships can cover the entire cost or half the cost of preschool tuition, based on a family’s need.
Factors that would indicate a family is eligible for a preschool scholarship include:
A family that is eligible for free and reduced lunch.A family in which parents were 18 or younger at the time of a child’s birth.A family that has moved more than twice in the past year.A family with a history of domestic violence.A family in which English is not the first language.A family with a history of drug or alcohol firstname.lastname@example.org