In both District 2 and our school district at large, pre-K is a top priority for a simple reason: students who attend pre-K are better equipped for lifelong success.
Research shows that 90 percent of human brain development happens before age 5. In other words, waiting until kindergarten to start teaching our kids puts them at a disadvantage.
I have visited pre-K classrooms across District 2 to see our early childhood education program in action. Each school day is rigorously structured so students get the skills they need for lifelong learning. Students still have fun in class, but learning is interwoven into fun activities.
The skills taught in Dallas ISD pre-K classes include:
- Number names and counting
- Simple addition and subtraction
- ABC recognition and sounds
- Rhyming words
- Sounds in words
- Science and social studies basic skills
- Writing skills such as name writing and beginning sentences
And while the education skills taught in the pre-K classrooms are critical, the teachers I’ve talked with say the socialization that students gain through pre-K is just as important as the academics. Multiple pre-K teachers have told me about the amazing social and academic progress their students have made in just a few months this school year.
Pre-K is free for qualifying families. Children can attend Dallas ISD pre-K, without paying tuition, if they meet at least one of the following requirements.
- The child is eligible to take part in the national free or reduced-price school lunch program
- The child is unable to speak and comprehend the English language
- The child is homeless
- The child is a dependent of an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces
- The child is or has been in foster care
Dallas ISD is also piloting full-day, tuition-based pre-K at two schools in District 2: Ben Milam Elementary and Robert E. Lee Elementary. The tuition-based pre-K offers a great early childhood education at a competitive price for families that do not meet the qualifications for free pre-K.
Signing your child up for high quality pre-K with Dallas ISD is one of the best steps a parent can take in making sure their child has the brightest possible future. There are available paid and free pre-K seats still available at Dallas ISD elementary schools, and prekdallas.org has information on how to register.
Dustin Marshall is the District 2 representative on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees.
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