MASON COUNTY — Parents who have not yet signed their child up for preschool still have a chance to do so.
According to John Lehew, Director of Preschool Services for Mason County Schools, registration for next school year’s Universal Pre-K program is slightly down from the current year, and he hopes to get that number back up. This year, there were 280 preschoolers and 324 kindergartners. For next school year, so far 260 students have registered and Lehew hopes to get that number even higher.
Lehew said preschool is for any child that will turn four years old before September, and the program is free. He also discussed some misrepresentations of the program. Since he is also the director for Special Education, Lehew said some may think preschool is only for students with special needs, which is not true. The goal of preschool is to prepare the students for kindergarten and to identify any students who may need any special instruction. Lehew went on to say that buses are provided for the preschool students, just like the older students, and the preschoolers attend Monday through Thursday.
The normal size for a preschool classroom in Mason County is around 20 students and in each classroom, Lehew said, there are two teachers. With one teacher for every ten students, Lehew said it ensures the student will get the amount of instruction and attention needed. He also said the teachers were highly qualified and follow the curriculum they are required to cover.
“It’s a good program,” Lehew said.
He added that West Virginia is fourth in the nation when it comes to offering a preschool program. He also said preschool has been offered in Mason County for around 15 years now, and for the last four years, has been offered at every elementary school in the county, with the exception of Roosevelt Elementary.
The program is not offered at Roosevelt Elementary simply due to the size of the building. Buses are provided for preschool students in that area and will be taken to a classroom in Point Pleasant. Lehew also said when the students from Roosevelt are taken to another school, they are kept together in the same classroom, so when they continue on to kindergarten next year back at Roosevelt, they will already know each other and still be together.
For any parent who wishes to register their child for preschool, or would like more information about the program, call 304-674-0127.