Childhood is a Journey, Not a Race
The Pre-Kindergarten program is designed to help children prepare for kindergarten and succeed in the school environment. Success is achieved through developmentally appropriate instructional activities by Highly Qualified Pre-K teachers. The program serves children who will be 4 years of age on or before August 15.
Williamson County Schools Voluntary Pre-K classes are opened zone to all eligible 4 year-olds in Williamson County. Children of families of financial need are given priority. If space is still available then children who meet local at-risk criteria as established by WCS Pre-K Advisory Council will be accepted into the program.
The Pre-K classes use The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool. The program focuses on all areas of development literacy, cognitive, math, language, social studies, science, physical, and the arts. The Pre-K classes also use The Early Learning Second Step program to foster social and emotional development.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Voluntary Pre-kindergarten program (VPK) is a state funded readiness program for at-risk children who are 4 years of age on August 15. “At risk” is defined by the state as economically disadvantaged. Other “at-risk” factors which may be used to determine eligibility may include but are not limited to: English as a Second Language, foster care, social-emotional behaviors, and family/environmental factors. Due to state funding there are limited classrooms available in Williamson County, priority placement is given to families that are economically disadvantaged. The VPK program provides a foundation for learning and successful transition to the school environment.
No, the TN State Department of Education does not provide enough funding for a pre-k program in every elementary school in our county.
Pre-K classes are housed inside elementary schools throughout the Williamson County Schools District. Each school year, the locations are determined based on the applications received and the needs of the district as well as space availability within the elementary schools. Pre-K classes may be moved from one school to another in order to best serve the families of Williamson County.
Parents/Guardians of children who are 4 years of age on or before August 15, 2018 and are zoned for Williamson County Schools. All applications need to be submitted by May 4, 2018.
Families may complete an application with their current residential address (street, city, state, zip code). In the additional information section of the application, parents will need to provide the approximate move date, residential address if known and the reason for the relocation. The application will be kept “on hold” until the family has moved and resides in Williamson County and proof of residency is able to be provided. Residency in Williamson County will be verified prior to a child being eligible for placement in a pre-K program.
All applications are submitted online on the Williamson County Schools District Website.
LINK Pre-K Application
No, the Pre-K program is only available for children who are 4 years of age using the birth date guidelines stated in the above question (August 15, 2017). This is a Tennessee State Law for all Voluntary Pre-K programs (VPK).
After you submit your child/children’s application, your application will be reviewed based on the eligibility guidelines set by the TN Department of Early Learning. You will be contacted regarding an application appointment should further information be required to determine placement in a Pre-K classroom.
No, Every application will be reviewed for eligibility, but all interested parents are encouraged to turn in applications as soon as possible to be considered for enrollment.
No, due to state regulations on teacher:child ratio, enrollment space is limited in each classroom. According to state guidelines for eligibility, priority placement is given to families of financial need. Once all children who qualify based on financial need have been placed, if additional space is available additional applicants will be considered for placement. Each applicant is selected for placement based on his/her specific child/family need. Placement locations are determined after all applications and documents are reviewed.
During your scheduled appointment one parent/guardian will meet with a Pre-K teacher to complete the confidential parent portion of the process to discuss your child and share information to help determine your child’s eligibility. While you are meeting with a Pre-k teacher, your child will go with a member of the Pre-K staff to complete fun developmental games/activities within the areas of language, cognitive and motor skills.
You will also meet with the Pre-K Coordinator to verify your documentation regarding child’s date of birth, proof of residency in Williamson County and Income Eligibility. Your child will NOT be considered for placement until the application process is complete.
Yes, your child does need to be present at the time of your appointment in order for your child to complete the child’s portion of the application process.
NO, at least one parent or legal guardian must be present to complete the parent portion of the process as well as to present all documentation for verification.
You will need to bring the following: (These documents are viewed by the Pre-K coordinator only for verification purposes and no documents will be kept by WCS staff the day of the appointment.
- a copy of your child’s legal birth certificate (not the mother’s copy)
- 2 proofs of residency in Williamson County- Utility bills (gas, water, electric) cable/satellite, cell phone bills and credit card statements are not accepted as proof of residency,If you are living with another Williamson County family you will need to bring the utility bills in their name and 2 pieces of mail in your name at the stated address.
- You will also need to bring verification of household income such as documentation of federal or state assistance (case number), recent pay stub(s), 2016 Tax Return or 2016 W-2(‘s) for all those who live in the home
- Documentation regarding any evaluations of your child by a public or private institution.
All children develop differently therefore children’s needs are also defined differently. A child may need help in social areas, emotional development, academic preparation or environmental stability. There are many factors which determine a child’s success in school. A confidential meeting with each parent/guardian gives the teacher insight into a child’s development and experiences. This time is also an opportunity for the parents/guardians to discuss with the teacher any other information that is helpful in determining the child’s eligibility for placement in the program. Priority is given to children of families with financial need.
No, all of the children enrolled in the Pre-K classes qualify for the program through the eligibility guidelines set by the TN Department of Early Learning. The WCS Student Support Services Department offers an Early Childhood Program for children ages 3-5 which does include peer models. The Early Childhood program has morning and afternoon classes which meet on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday For information regarding the Early Childhood programs and peer model applications please contact Student Support Services 615-472-4130 or the following elementary school offices: Crockett, Fairview, Longview, and Pearre Creek.
The Pre-K class meets Monday thru Friday for 5 ½ hours. Specific times are determined prior to the start of each school year. The Pre-K class follows the Williamson County Schools calendar unless otherwise specified for the Pre-Kindergarten program. Attendance is required for all five days each week.
Before/After care may be available for families in need based on availability and staffing of each Pre-K classroom location. The VPK program collaborates with the WCS School Age Child Care program (SACC). Information regarding this program will be provided once class placements have been determined. The Pre-K before/aftercare program is only offered during the WCS school year when Pre-K class is in session. Care during Holidays/vacation breaks and Summers is not offered for Pre-K students due to state certification guidelines for school-aged programs.
Yes, all children enrolled in a Pre-K class are required to attend every day. Attendance is very important for a successful year of learning. Your child is expected to attend school EVERY DAY and ON TIME unless he/she has a temperature or showing other symptoms of a contagious illness. Daily attendance, including tardiness/early dismissal, is reported and recorded in the school’s system and reported to the State Department of Education, the same as for children in grades K-12.
Priority placement for classes is given to children of families of financial need.
If after all priority placements are filled and space is still available, additional application appointments will be scheduled to determine the children most in need of the program. Every effort is made to place the child at his/her kindergarten zoned school but if not available then the child is placed at a Pre-K school closest to their home.
The Pre-K team works together to ensure the integrity of this program and the application process.
No, transportation is NOT provided for Pre-K students. Parents/guardians are responsible for transporting the child To and From school each day. WCS school bus service is provided only for children enrolled in grades K-12.
No, there is not a weekly or monthly cost for VPK. There is a cost for breakfast and lunch. Families may apply for the Free/Reduced lunch program.
The WCS Pre-K program is state funded and notification of funding is not confirmed until the WCS school budget has passed by the WCS county commission in July. The number of classrooms is determined by the state of TN funding received each year. All class placements will be determined once funding has been secured. You will be notified by MAIL if your child has been accepted for the Pre-K program. This letter will state which school location your child has been selected to attend for Pre-K. Every effort is made to place the child at a school closest to the child’s home. You will be able to confirm your acceptance to the class list or you may deny your child’s placement and participation in the program. The acceptance letter will contain information concerning enrollment materials and procedures to confirm your child’s place in the class. You will also be notified if your child is not accepted and placed on a waiting list. If your child is not accepted, your child’s application will be kept on file in the event of space becoming available at a later date.
If your child is accepted into a pre-k program your acceptance letter will notify you of enrollment dates and procedures. You will need the following documents in order to enroll your child at the school office.
- You will need an official copy of your child’s birth certificate,
- The Tennessee State Health and Immunization Record and can be obtained from your child’s doctor or the Williamson County Health Department
- 2 proofs of residency in Williamson County. These include: Gas, Water, or Electric Bills.
- If you are living with relatives or another resident of Williamson County, you will need to complete additional documents to prove your residence in Williamson County as well as provide residency documents listed above in the Williamson County resident’s name.
- All custody information including legal custody agreements and Parenting Plans, if applicable to your family.
In a WCS Pre-K class, you will find 20 children in a play-based classroom environment involved in active, hands-on learning. Teachers plan and deliver high-quality instructional activities for the children to learn through participation in both a large and small group setting.
At the beginning of each school year, after a child is enrolled in a Pre-K class, your Pre-K teacher will schedule a home visit. The home visit is an opportunity for you and your child to visit with your child’s teacher to assist in the transition from home to school. During your visit you will learn more about the daily procedures specific to your child’s school (arrival, dismissal, schedule) as well as be able to ask questions in a comfortable setting. As all children develop differently, some children may have more difficulty with transitions or separation from parents than others and the home visit is a way to help ease fears as well as lay the foundation for a successful year in Pre-K.