16 selected for new K4 program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The list of children who will comprise the Andalusia City Schools system’s first pre-k class were chosen at random during a lottery held Tuesday.

Sonja Hines, special education coordinator and director of the new program, said the 16 names were pulled from a pool of 20 applicants, adding the number was handed down to the program from the Office of School Readiness.

Making up the first class will be: Abbie Caroline Bond; John Thaxton Brannon; Lucienn Carrillo; Chappell Clanton; Raeghen Joy Curry; Emma Beth Ennis; Colton Riley Hamby; Emmett Johnson; Zoey Su-jin Jones; Addison Claire Maurer; Baileigh Grace McLeod; Drake Daniel Motley; Madisyn Yvonne “Maddie” Ordes; Riley Connor Ricks; William Grant Wardle; and Brayden Noah Ware.

Hines said, even though the first class has been filled, she would like to encourage parents to fill out an application, which can be found at the central office behind Andalusia City Hall, or at Andalusia Elementary School on the W. Bypass.

“We encourage people to fill out those applications, because we want to create a waiting list we can pull from,” Hines said. “You never know when someone might drop out or move.”

Hines also said a lead teacher, as well as an auxiliary teacher, will be hired at the board of education’s next regular meeting on Monday.

Hines said, in addition to the new teachers, a regional director will help oversee the new program, as will a monitor on a monthly basis. Additionally, Billie Loflin with the Office of School Readiness will work directly with teachers.

“I will be in the classroom as often as is needed; probably monthly,” Loflin said. “We would just love to grow this more.”

Hines said the new program makes three for Covington County, joining the Opp City School system and the Covington County Board of Education’s pre-k program in Red Level.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for several years,” Hines said. “Finally, the stars just aligned properly. We have an awesome classroom (at Andalusia Elementary School) and we applied for two grants that combined for $92,000.”

But while the list of both students and teachers will soon be complete, Hines said things like duration of the school day and transportation are still being mapped out.

“We will not be providing transportation in this first year, because the buses aren’t equipped,” she said. “But we would like to be able to do that in the future. Their day should start about the same time as everyone else, but will maybe get out a little early.”

Hines said new information on those topics and more will be made available as the decisions are made.