- What is NC Pre-K?
- What are the requirements for determining a child as being “at risk”?
- Why must I provide personal information when applying for this program?
- Why does my child’s assigned NC Pre-K program want to do a home visit?
- How is my child chosen for the program?
- Are there any costs associated with the NC Pre-K program?
- Does my child need a physical?
- Does NC Pre-K provide transportation?
- Where are the NC Pre-K classrooms?
- What are the days and times that the NC Pre-K classroom operates?
- What is a developmental screening?
- What will my child learn?
- What will my child’s day consist of?
- What my child eat?
- Is it required that my child to be toilet trained, before enrolling in the NC Pre-K program?
- Can I visit my child’s classroom?
- Family Expectations
- Will my child be required to wear a uniform? What supplies will my child need for school?
What is NC Pre-K?
NC Pre-K is a statewide, state-funded preschool program that provides a structured educational experience for at-risk four-year-olds who meet the age requirement of being four years old on or before August 31 and meet one or more of the requirements.
What are the requirements for determining a child as being “at-risk”?
A child that meets the age requirements is eligible for NC Pre-K if the child meets at least one of the following criteria. The child is from a family whose gross income level is below 75% of the State Median Income level. If the family is over the income threshold, the child may qualify if one or more of the criteria identified here is applicable: child is experiencing homelessness; has an identified disability indicated by a current Individualized Education Program/Plan (IEP); has Limited English Proficiency (LEP); has a developmental or educational need; has a chronic health condition; or has a parent or legal guardian who is an active duty member in the armed forces,
National Guard, or Reserve Unit or a child whose parent or legal guardian has been seriously injured or killed while on active duty. *Additional documentation may be required for children of families that are over the income guidelines.
Why must I provide personal information when applying for this program?
Smart Start Rowan (SSR) must follow state and local guidelines in order to process each child’s application. These guidelines require that SSR obtain the information requested, which includes some personal information, in order to process the child’s application. With this in mind, it is very important that you follow the application instructions and provide the exact information that is listed on the child application checklist. Without the information that has been requested, we will not be able to process your application, and it will be considered incomplete. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered for placement in the program.
Why does my child’s assigned NC Pre-K program want to do a home visit?
SSR requires that each NC Pre-K site offer home visits to each family. Home visits are valuable in building a solid relationship with your child’s teacher as well as allowing the teacher to spend individual time getting to know you and your child. We encourage you to allow your child’s teacher to visit your family. You can prepare by making a list of questions you have for your child’s teacher, as well as write down important things that you want your child’s teacher to know about your child.
How is my child chosen for the program?
Once the child’s intake interview has been completed, the application is date stamped and verified for eligibility, based on birth date and the criteria mentioned above in question 2. Once verified, and after May 24th , the applications are first sorted based on the priority score the application received, based on the criteria listed in question 2, and then by date the completed application was received. Children with the highest scores will tentatively be placed. Due to the number of applications received not every child can be placed at their desired location. When funding has been approved and awarded by the State of North Carolina, notifications will be sent out to the family via email, stating which site the child has been accepted to. The family must notify Smart Start Rowan, before the established deadline as indicated on your child’s acceptance letter, as to whether or not they accept the assigned school. Refusal of a school does not necessarily mean you will be immediately assigned a new school. Your child may be placed on a waiting list, pending an opening at your chosen school. Unfortunately, we may not have enough funding to place every child that is eligible for the program.
Are there any costs associated with the NC Pre-K program?
The only fees that may be charged to families for services are fees to cover the partial/full costs of meals when families do not qualify for free or reduced meals. When you register your child at the assigned school, you will need to fill out an application for free/reduced lunch. Families may also be charged the cost of wraparound services provided before or after the regular school day, during holidays or during summer months, if needed and available. Some individual sites may provide transportation in which case fees may apply. It is also at the sites discretion to charge late fees for families that repeatedly arrive late to pick up their child.
Does my child need a physical?
Yes, a completed Kindergarten Health Assessment (blue form), Dental Assessment (yellow form) and Shot Record will be needed. Make sure the physician has answered every question on the physical (i.e. Vision and hearing) and has signed and dated it. It is recommended that you have these forms completed prior to your NC Pre-K application intake appointment; however, if you are unable to make an appointment with your child’s physician, you will be asked to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. It is a program requirement that each of these forms be completed in entirety within the first 30 days of school start-up. Unfortunately, if these documents are not on file, the child may be removed from the program.
Does NC Pre-K provide transportation?
Currently, there is no transportation provided by NC Pre-K. Parents/Guardians must take their child in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. Some sites however, may provide transportation for a fee. (South Rowan Academy DOES NOT provide transportation to or from home; the only transportation we provide is to our after school program at China Grove Elementary). This must be arranged at the site, and not through Smart Start Rowan’s NC Pre-K office.
Where are the classrooms for NC Pre-K?
NC Pre-K allows communities to decide where classrooms should be housed, based upon need and the availability of appropriate NC Pre-K sites, whether in a Child Care setting, Public School or Head Start. Unless you designated which school you would like your child to attend on your application, they are placed closest to home. The amount of State funding will determine how many sites and classrooms will be available each year.
What are the days and times that the NC Pre-K classroom operates?
NC Pre-K sites must provide a pre-kindergarten program for a regular school day (minimum of 6 ½ hours per day) for a 10-month (180 instructional days) per school calendar year. In Rowan County, we generally follow the Rowan Salisbury School System Calendar and operate on a 6.75 hour school day. If your child is assigned to one of the private child care facilities, they may provide an operational calendar that could be slightly different than the Rowan Salisbury School System Calendar. Depending on your child’s school, there may be days set aside for home visits and staggered entry; these days are included in the 180 day school calendar. It is important for your child’s success that they attend on a regular basis. Children that do not attend regularly will be dropped from the program, unless there is an extenuating circumstance such as a medical emergency. South Rowan Academy’s NC Pre-K program operates Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 2:45 p.m.
What is a developmental screening?
All children entering a NC Pre-K program will be screened with an approved screening tool within 90 days of the first day of attendance in the program, or within 6 months prior to the first day of attendance into the program. This screening provides teachers with information on children’s developmental status and the possible need for further evaluation. Early detection is essential to increasing the likelihood that children at risk of developmental delay, and those with disabilities, receive special services quickly.
What will my child learn?
NC Pre-K programs are expected to provide developmentally appropriate, high-quality prekindergarten experiences for children. All Rowan County NC Pre-K Classrooms use The Creative Curriculum for Preschool to provide opportunities for children’s learning. The philosophy behind the curriculum is that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn’t just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in. In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling, and looking).
As children learn through purposeful and high quality play experiences, they are building critical foundational skills for cognitive development and academic achievement. These include verbalization, language comprehension, increased vocabulary, imagination, questioning, problem solving, observation, empathy, co-operation skills, and learning another’s perspective.
Through play, children learn a set of skills such as social skills, creativity, hand-to-eye coordination, problem solving, and imagination. These skills are better learned through play rather than through flashcards, or academic drills. Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum. Play is the work of young children. Please consult with your child’s teacher if you have any questions concerning your child or the curriculum
What will my child’s day consist of?
All schools have a classroom schedule posted. The child’s day will consist of educational activities that provide high quality indoor and outdoor learning environments. Both indoor and outdoor environments shall address curricular objectives by encouraging child-initiated, teacher–supported, active learning experiences. Teachers are to arrange for children to be outdoors each and every day, for a minimum of one hour, weather permitting. Please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for play, both indoor and outdoor
What my child eat?
Sites must provide breakfast and/or snacks and lunch meeting USDA requirements during the regular school day. The partial/full cost of meals may be charged when families do not qualify for free/reduced price meals. When children bring their own food for meals and snacks to school, when allowed, if the food does not meet the specified nutritional requirements, the center must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements.
Is it required that my child to be toilet trained, before enrolling in the NC Pre-K program?
Toilet training is a skill set that every child must experience and master. There is no specific age or stage in your child’s life this skill must be mastered, however most children begin this process around the age of 2 years. For those children who have not yet mastered the skill of toilet training, SSR would encourage you to begin this process prior to the beginning of the school year. Please find helpful information about this process on SSR’s website.
Can I visit my child’s classroom?
Yes! Family involvement is critical to the success of the children. NC Pre-K programs are to provide meaningful opportunities for parents and families to build trusting relationships that foster a bond between those involved in the education of the NC Pre-K child. Teachers provide many ways for families to be engaged in their child’s education: home visits; parent/teacher conferences; classroom visits and options for parents/guardians to participate in classroom activities; family involvement; and opportunities to engage families outside of the regular school day.
Please refer to the “Family Responsibilities” contract included in the child’s application. The items identified here are crucial to ensure your child has a successful NC Pre-K experience. You are encouraged to contact your child’s teacher or program administrator at any time if you have questions or concerns. We also ask that you complete a survey, provided via email by SSR, to let us know ways the program can be improved. At any time, you may contact Laura Villegas, SSR, Director of Programs if you have concerns that have not been addressed by your child’s NC PreK program. She can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 704-603-3368.
Will my child be required to wear a uniform? What supplies will my child need for school?
Please consult your child’s assigned school regarding their uniform policy. Any needed supplies will be provided by the school.