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The Journal Gazette

  • Denique Tyson, left, and Caly Landa, students in Stacy Rensberry-Garner's pre-K class at Study Elementary, work on science skills during Choice Time on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 1:00 am

Pre-K expands at FWCS

Study, Adams elementaries to go full-day; 17 accept On My Way grants

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

As a pre-kindergarten teacher at Study Elementary, Stacy Rensberry-Garner gets only about 21/2 hours a day with her students, which isn't always enough time for everything she planned.

She's looking forward to next school year, when a new full-day pre-K program will let her incorporate more science, social studies, music and art into daily lessons.

“I'm excited about it as a teacher,” she said Tuesday after an announcement that Study, along with Adams Elementary, will begin offering full-day pre-K classes in the fall.

Up to 20 tots will be accepted at each building.

While Fort Wayne Community Schools makes the most of its half-day pre-K program, a full day of school better prepares 4-year-olds for kindergarten – not only academically but also socially and emotionally, said Hayley Sauer, director for elementary education.

She's confident the youngsters can handle a full school day, which for them will include rest time.

“They're ready for this,” Sauer said.

This expansion of FWCS' Title I pre-K program will coincide with the acceptance of On My Way Pre-K grants at all 17 elementary schools with Title I pre-K.

Available in Allen County since 2015, On My Way Pre-K awards grants to children from low-income families so they can attend a high-quality pre-K program the year before kindergarten. Families can use the grant at any approved On My Way Pre-K program.

The Title I pre-K programs at FWCS are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and have earned the Level 4 Paths to Quality rating, the highest offered through the statewide rating system for early care and education programs.

The district will evaluate the programs at Adams and Study to determine whether other pre-K programs can become full-day sites. Space and funding are among other considerations, said Kimberly Brooks, Title I manager.

Registration for pre-K will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at each elementary school that offers the program.

Go to and click the pre-K/K registration box for more information. Parents with additional questions can call the Family and Community Engagement Center at 260-467-7250 or use the “Let's Talk!” platform on the district website.

FWCS previously announced the pre-K programs at Whitney Young Early Childhood Center and Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center – which are magnet schools – will also be full-day programs beginning in the fall.

The first day of school for pre-K is Aug. 27.