Russellville preparing children for kindergarten

RUSSELLVILLE, Ky.- Young minds under construction.

The Russellville Preschool Academy at the Kaye Wilkins Center is where many students start their educational journeys.

It’s the first classroom setting many of these three- and four-year old’s have experienced.

School officials want to make sure that experience is a great one.

The district recently renovated the facility over the summer and made big changes to the schedule.

 “Any student that enrolls in our Preschool Academy will be here all day from 7:30 to 2, and they will be here every day, five days a week,” said Russellville Independent Schools superintendent Bart Flener.

Since the changes, student enrollment increased by 30 additional students this year.

Since there are now more hours and more students, additional staff members were added.

There is now one teacher per 10 students.

 “Kids aren’t getting the lap time that they once got, so it’s very important for the kids to be in the schools, listening to people read, tell stories, and just for social, emotional learning, being around others, learning to cooperate with others,” said preschool coordinator, Michelle McCloughan.

Russellville Independent Schools is one of the few districts to offer preschool five days a week. The school board has been supportive of these changes, Flener said.

“The board is taking some of it from our general fund. We have a healthy general fund. We are in good financial shape in Russellville Independent Schools. They know based on the data if we can get our students to kindergarten, kindergarten ready, then they are going to progress through elementary ready. We are going to see the scores and the academic progress that we want for all of our students and that our parents and our community want for our students. So, the board made that commitment, I am really proud of them for that decision to do so,” Flener said.

There is currently a waiting list to get into the preschool.