“For the first time in my career, we are offering to the community tuition-free, all-day kindergarten,” Powers Elementary School principal Debbie Waller said proudly.
Though half-day classes are still available under state law, she said not a single parent has opted for them.
“I think parents are seeing the value of kids coming to school at age five because they are little sponges. They’re ready to receive the curriculum. And we’re appreciative of getting the time to cover the content standards. We’re going to be able to do so much more — the hands-on, the experimentation, the classroom study. We’re excited,” she said.
Kindergarten enrollment is set at 183.
Those kids will see the launch at Powers of the national Positive Behavior Intervention Support System, which puts an emphasis on emotional support, bullying prevention, and intervention for struggling kids.
Waller is rolling out a “Powers Superkids” theme as part of PBISS.
“What it does is set expectations on every area of the child’s day. It’s on the bus. It’s on the classroom. It’s on the playground. It’s in the cafeteria. It’s in the restroom,” she said.
At schools where PBISS has been implemented, referrals have been scaled far back. Kids buy into positivity if it’s modeled by teachers, she said.
On another front, hiring is underway for more Title I teachers at Powers to make sure all children get personal instruction in reading.
The school is filling five Title I positions at the kindergarten level and four each in the first and second grades.
Parents should also know:
• The northern parking lot at Powers, where drop-offs and pick-ups are made, has been paved with concrete and re-striped this summer.
• Waller encourages parents to visit the Powers website for detailed information about policies, procedures, class lists, supplies, parking, and more.
• Any parent or guardian who has not already registered their child for fall classes should do so as soon as possible.
• The Comet Kids before- and after-school program will continue this year. Children can be dropped off as early as 6:30 a.m. and enjoy breakfast and be picked up as late as 6:30 p.m. Afternoon sessions include snack and homework help.
• Car riders and walkers are dismissed at 3:20 p.m. at the north end of the school. Bus riders are dismissed at 3:30 p.m.