Another Pre-K class to open at SES

Published 2:14 am Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Eighteen more 4-year-olds in the Straughn school district will have the opportunity to get a head start on their education.

Straughn Elementary School Principal Bettye Anne Older said Monday that the school was awarded an intervention grant from the Department of Early Childhood.

Straughn Elementary School will add a second Pre-K classroom when school starts back.  File photo

Straughn Elementary School will add a second Pre-K classroom when school starts back.
File photo

Older said this grant pays for new playground equipment, curriculum and the full salaries for the lead and auxiliary teachers.

“We’re excited,” she said. “I’ll find out (today) if we have to redraw for 18. We have 35 students on the waiting list.”

Older said there were 50 children who applied earlier this year to get into the pre-K program.

When names were drawn, the school only had one program, which is funded through the Education Trust Fund through the Alabama Department of Children’s Affairs Office of School Readiness.

The school applied for another First Class Pre-K grant, but did not receive the additional funding.

Instead, they were invited to apply for the intervention grant.

“The need is so great in this part of the state for quality child services,” Older said. “We are blessed that they thought enough of our current program to award us these funds.”

Older said though the classrooms are funded from different sources, they will still use the First Class Pre-K program curricula.

In order to accommodate, Older said they are moving a higher-level classroom to another location and placing the second classroom across the hall from the first Pre-K room.

The Covington County Board of Education is currently discussing building a new Pre-K/kindergarten building on campus to help accommodate the growing number of students at SES.

Superintendent Shannon Driver said he expects to have final plans for the project at the Aug. 2 board meeting.

The board approved the hiring of Dawn Marie Ward as Pre-K lead teacher and Kellye Parr Rodgers as Pre-K auxiliary teacher.

Additionally, the board:

• Accepted the resignation of Callie Marie Henderson as band director at Florala High School effective immediately;

• Employed Joseph Carter as assistant principal at Red Level High School, effective at the beginning of the school year.

• Employed Robin M. Thompson as bookkeeper at Red Level Elementary School, effective immediately.

• Transferred Bradley Stephens from physical education teacher at SES to physical education teacher at Straughn High School effective Aug. 8.

• Employed Christian Tyler Coe, as paraprofessional at SES effective Aug. 8.