Boise Pre-K Project Ready to Serve Students
Posted on 10/29/2015
On Monday, November 2, 2015 Boise Pre-K classes began for approximately 60 preschool students at Hawthorne and Whitney elementary schools.
Before the start of the program, Hawthorne Elementary Pre-K Teacher Grace Ruddy (pictured) held a Sneak Peek event on October 26th for the students and their families.
Boise Pre-K Project is a partnership between the City of Boise, Boise School District and committed community partners focused on providing high-quality preschool in the Vista Neighborhood. A celebration marking the start of classes was held on Thursday, October 29 at the Whitney Community Center.
Boise School District will operate the Boise Pre-K Project, offering two classes at Hawthorne and one class at Whitney.
"The research is clear that pre-k works," explained Dr. Don Coberly, Superintendent, Boise School District. Our previous experience showed that kids who participate in quality pre-k programs perform much better in Kindergarten and in the elementary grades, particularly in reading. Given that, we don't hope that this project will close the achievement gap for students entering Kindergarten - we know it will."
Part of the City of Boise's Energize Our Neighborhoods initiative, Boise Pre-K Project will serve income-qualified pre-school children of the Vista neighborhood of Boise.
"We know high quality pre-kindergarten programs help children succeed and avoid trouble in all stages of their later lives," said Boise Mayor David Bieter. "Every dollar invested in pre-kindergarten programs gives taxpayers a payback of between $7 and $13 in the long run. That makes this one of the best public policy choices we can make as a society."
The United Way of Treasure Valley and the Micron Foundation are lead sponsors of the Boise Pre-K Project. Other community sponsors include Wells Fargo, The Idaho Statesman, St. Luke's Health System, Keynetics, George and Bev Harad, Oppenheimer Companies, Delaware North, Whole Foods and Saint Alphonsus Health System.
"Once again, we have in the Pre-K Project a terrific example of how we can work together, especially when it's for something as important as our children's education," added Dr. Coberly. "Without the effort and support from the City, the United Way and these communtity sponsors, we wouldn't be standing here today. It is our hope that this kind of public-private partnership will provide a model our legislature can use to provide quality pre-k throughout Idaho."
Pictured below, left to right: Dr. Don Coberly, Superintendent, Boise School District; Sheila Dengler-Shaw, Pre-K Teacher, Whitney Elementary School; David Bieter, Mayor, City of Boise; and Grace Ruddy, Pre-K Teacher, Hawthorne Elementary.
More About Boise Pre-K Project
The Boise Pre-K Project, which is a three year pilot, is a welcome addition to the efforts the Boise District is already implementing around early childhood learning.
Currently, the Boise School District offers the Madison Early Childhood Center, Summer School Preschool and Kindergarten Readiness Programs, Early Childhood Special Education Services and Just for Kids Childcare program. Also, parents are provided with a Kindergarten Readiness Packet as part of the District's annual Kindergarten Registration.
The City of Boise will be responsible for the salaries and benefits associated with instructional staffing for the Boise Pre-K Project classes, as well as curriculum costs, equipment and supplies. Boise School District will provide the educational expertise, curriculum delivery, facilities and administrative support. The District will also provide yearly comparative data to the Board and to the City on the progress of the students involved in the program.
District officials and Boise School Board members agreed that conversation and collaboration with the City and community partners about long-term sustainability will be crucial as the pilot proceeds. The pilot is one element of a project to revitalize the Vista Neighborhood, the area of Boise in which Whitney and Hawthorne Schools are located.