• December 4, 2019

ECISD trustees to discuss full-day prekindergarten - Odessa American: ECISD

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ECISD trustees to discuss full-day prekindergarten

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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 4:55 pm

A presentation implementation of full-day prekindergarten is on the agenda, along with discussion of revisions of policies relating to revenue sources and gifts and solicitations.

Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Lilia Nanez will be the presenter on the full-day prekindergarten. Nanez said it is required by House Bill 3 passed during the last legislative session, but it was something that they had been discussed before that.

Superintendent Scott Muri presented data from his look, listen and learn tour at an October board meeting. Fifty-seven percent of kindergartners who attended prekindergarten were not kindergarten ready in 2019 and 65 percent of kindergarteners were not ready for kindergarten in 2019, his presentation showed.

“It’s more of a need that is driving this decision. If you look at the look, listen and learn tour data it’s clear that ECISD needs full day pre-k,” Nanez said.

The district serves 1,313 prekindergarten students and 343 whose parents pay tuition. Nanez said those are mainly employees’ children and it is offered as a recruitment and retention tool. Employees pay $250 for month to send their children to prekindergarten with lunch provided. She said day care can be 4500 to $1,000 a month.

Approximately 23 teachers would need to be added, but that depends on enrollment.

Nanez said the district is exploring a partnership with South Plains Head Start to help serve ECISD children, but that is pending the agency’s grant application to the federal government. She said they have won a grant for Midland County.

Nanez said she had not heard from the Odessa Head Start program and Executive Director Catriva Webbs said she didn’t know about ECISD exploring a partnership with South Plains Head Start.

The Texas Education Agency encourages the district to partner with Head Start programs or private day care facilities, Nanez said.

Nanez said the plan is to start providing full-day prekindergarten next fall.

Prekindergarten through second grade education has been a priority for ECISD since she arrived and the district has contracted with an early literacy expert to work with students and teachers in early childhood and struggling elementary schools, Nanez said.

“We understand the importance — we being the people that are here in ECISD now — we understand the importance of early education so we’ve started initiatives to improve that area of our district,” Nanez said.

The early literacy expert is Richard Gentry, an internationally known author, researcher and educational consultant. Nanez said he has visited the district twice and will return in February to do an analysis of student writing to discuss growth.

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