GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Gulfport School District will be opening two new federally funded preschool programs next year and preparations are underway right now.
This is a significant and potentially far-reaching move by the district. These will be the first publicly supported preschool programs in the district. One is at Gaston Point Elementary, the other is at 28th Street Elementary.
At the same time, the district is also looking for certified teachers for the program: two teachers and two assistants to handle 32 students at both schools. Eventually, the district plans to have pre-K programs all throughout the district.
"The number of kids that come to us with no educational background in kindergarten is pretty high," said Shawn Butler, the principal at Gaston Point Elementary. "So, for them to come to us with a strong background, knowing the basics about how to walk in line, some basic fundamentals of phonics, it gives them a huge foundation and a leg up on many other kids."
Screenings and applications will be at Gaston Point Saturday, March 16, from 8-10 a.m. Applications at 28th Street Elementary will be March 19 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and March 23 from 8-10 a.m. An interpreter will available throughout the process if needed.