Rockcastle County early childhood education is implemented through a Blended Head Start and State Preschool Program. It is a curriculum-based program that provides instruction based on The Kentucky Early Childhood Standards and focuses on readiness skills in the social, adaptive, motor, concepts, and language areas. The program is based on the principle that positive learning and social-emotional experiences are the foundation for healthy child development and learning readiness. Because of this belief, the Rockcastle County School District strives to serve as many young students as possible.
Through Head Start, the program serves three- and four-year-old children who have disabilities or are from low-income families. Through the State Preschool Program, four-year-olds from low-income families and three-year-olds with disabilities qualify for services. Other four-year-old children are served on a first come, first serve basis, depending on the number of spaces available after qualifying students have enrolled. With fourteen units in the county, the district is usually able to accommodate the non-qualifying four-year-olds whose parents wish to enroll them.
The Preschool Program provides learning experiences in a safe, nurturing environment. The teachers and assistants work hard to build positive relationships with the students and their families, sharing information that will help them build and continue positive home-school relationships and experiences as the child transitions from grade to grade.
While Preschool is in itself an intervention program, additional services are provided to those students who have difficulties in certain areas. Students who score below the cutoff on the DIAL 4 screener in a particular area are provided interventions in the preschool classroom to improve their readiness skills. If multiple interventions prove unsuccessful after a chosen amount of time, the students may be referred for further evaluation.
It is the belief of Rockcastle County Schools that early childhood education and intervention is an important key to developing successful learners. Preschool acquaints children with the school environment, routines, and staff. It provides structured activities that help children learn prerequisite skills for kindergarten and allows for social interaction, giving children experiences in getting along with others. Enrollment and regular attendance in this program is of utmost importance in giving young children a great beginning in their educational journey.
If you are a parent with a preschool-age child and have questions about the Preschool Program, please contact the school in your area.