Owensboro Public Schools has had a number of firsts this year when it comes to preschool education. This is the first academic year for all-day curriculum at both Hager Preschool and Seven Hills Head Start Preschool, the latter of which is a new facility serving the east side of Owensboro.
Prior to the 2018-2019 academic year, Hager Preschool served all OPS preschoolers — those that lived on the east side of Frederica Street in the morning and those that lived on the west side in the afternoon. That changed when Head Start opened the Seven Hills school this year and began serving students that lived on the east side of Frederica Street. The addition of the new facility on McConnell Avenue and 11 new teachers allowed enough classroom space to serve the entire OPS preschool population all day.
“Instruction seven hours a day is so instrumental in helping children to develop and become more kindergarten ready,” said Sherry Baber, preschool coordinator at OPS.
According to Baber, preschool students will also be better prepared for the full-day schedule they will soon see in kindergarten.
Currently, Seven Hills serves around 180 students, Hager serves 225 and in another for the district, a 14-student preschool class is offered at the H.L. Neblett Center. That classroom is provided through a preschool partnership grant with the Kentucky Department of Education.
Baber said 160 students from Hager will be moving on to kindergarten after this year. While this may seem like a large number compared to the 225 students in the school, Baber said it’s normal to send that many students on to the three OPS elementary schools that Hager feeds.
To prepare for the next academic year, OPS will host a pair of registration open houses, which school officials said will help give a better estimate of enrollment earlier in the process.
“We want all of our families to have the extra time and assistance they need to be fully prepared for the first day of school,” said Angela Messmer, director of Audubon Area Head Start. “We will have a full allotment of family advocates on-site to help families through every step of the registration process.”
Seven Hills Head Start Preschool’s registration open house will be March 13 and Hager Preschool will hold their open house March 20. Both schools will hold their open house from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Both preschools serve 3- and 4-year-old children with a disability or developmental delay. They also serve 3-year-olds without disabilities and all 4-year-old children whose family income falls within federal poverty income guidelines. Families must reside within the Owensboro Public Schools boundaries and be 3- or 4-years-old by August 1, 2019 to be eligible.
Those interested in applying can attend either open house date regardless of what school they will attend. To schedule an appointment, those interested must call the school that corresponds with the date that will allow them to attend and schedule an appointment in advance. Family advocates will be on-site to help complete the application process and the necessary forms.
Families will need to bring the following documents with them to the open house to complete registration:
– birth certificate (school can order for $10)
– child’s Social Security card
– proof of income (W2 preferred)
– medical insurance card
Prior to the first day of school, families will need to have completed the following:
– physical/immunization on Kentucky school form
– dental and eye exam
– lead test results
To schedule an appointment, families will need to contact one of the schools to reserve their spot.
Seven Hills Head Start Preschool can be reached at 270-686-6059 and Hager Preschool can be reached at 270-686-1125.
Students who reside east of Frederica Street in the Owensboro Public Schools district will attend Seven Hills Head Start Preschool and those residing west of Frederica Street will attend Hager Preschool. For more information or for questions regarding requirements for registration, please contact either school at the numbers listed above.