MPS to offer full-day pre-k for as many as possible
Mustang Public Schools will be offering a limited option for full-day pre-kindergarten for the 2018-2019 school year. Since its inception more than a decade ago, the district has only been able to offer pre-k as a half-day program.
Stacy Edwards, executive director of elementary schools, said most full-day options will be at the district’s eight elementary schools. Half-day classes will likely be at Mustang Education Center.
“We are very excited that we are at a point to offer full-day pre-kindergarten to as many families as possible,” Edwards said. “It has been a regular request for some time. Thanks to the construction of the new elementary school, we will be able to offer full-day pre-kindergarten on a limited basis for the fall.”
Once the full-day program is full, parents will be offered half-day pre-kindergarten. Or, parents can choose half-day as their program of choice. Edwards said the number of full-day or half-day classes cannot be determined until after Pre-Kindergarten Round-up, which is set for March 13 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Mustang Middle School. Only after the district has an idea of how many parents are requesting full-day versus half-day will staffing and location decisions for the new year be possible. Transportation is not provided for pre-kindergarten, but full-day pre-kindergarten students will have the option to attend BroncoClub, the district’s after-school program, in the afternoons.
Parents of students who will be old enough for pre-kindergarten in August should bring their completed packets to Pre-Kindergarten Round-up. Attendance is required to be entered into the drawing for full-day pre-k. Parents who have turned in completed enrollment packets, with all the correct supporting documents and an up-to-date shot record, can request the full-day or half-day program on the packet.
Arriving early at Round-up will not increase a child’s chances of getting a full-day pre-k spot. Enrollment will be determined by an impartial drawing of all eligible students at a later date and is not determined by the order the packets are received. Parents will receive a call no later than May 1, 2018 to verify their child’s enrollment and which school they will be attending for 2018-2019.
Packets received after Pre-K Round-up will be placed on a waiting list.
“We will try to place as many students as possible in their home elementary school,” Edwards said. “We know that may not be possible for everyone, but we will do our best to accommodate as many families as we can.”
Boundary Realignment - Note of introduction
We are pleased to bring you this plan for boundary realignment for the intermediate schools and elementary schools. The district’s eighth elementary school and third intermediate school are currently under construction and will be opening in August. We have created a webpage with the proposed boundaries. I know this will mean a change for many of our parents and children as we populate the new schools and take pressure off the existing schools. We are confident that if your residence is now in a new boundary and your children are assigned to a new school that you will come to love the new building as much as you love your current school. But we also know that change is very hard. We welcome your comments and suggestions. You’ll find surveys where you can send us a message on the page with the proposed maps at http://www.mustangps.org/BoundaryRealignment2018.aspx
The article below outlines the process, the guiding principles that governed the creation of the boundaries and next steps. Thank you for your patience and your input. We appreciate both.
Proposed boundary realignment presented to Board of Ed
Deputy Superintendent Charles Bradley presented a proposed school boundary realignment to the Mustang Board of Education at Monday night’s regular meeting. A new elementary school at 44th and Czech Hall and a new intermediate school for fifth and sixth grade at 15th Street and Czech Hall Road will open for the 2018-2019 school year. Mustang Public Schools grew by more than 400 students this year and the district has added more than 1,463 students in the last five years. The realignment will mean the boundaries of every elementary and intermediate school will be adjusted for the upcoming school year to populate the two new schools and relieve pressure on the existing ones.
The proposed boundary realignment will now be taken to a steering committee that includes the original core committee that designed the boundaries and a selection of principals and staff. An advisory group that includes a parent’s perspective from each site affected will also begin meeting this month.
“We will be using the district website to create a place where all parents can view the proposed boundaries and send in comments,” Bradley said. “We will also have forum at the end of January or first of February where parents can view the boundaries. They will have the opportunity to visit with Mustang employees who were on the steering committee and can record their questions and concerns. All comments will be compiled and taken back to the steering committee for consideration and fine-tuning.”
Driving forces that shaped the proposed boundaries include population at the existing sites, bus routes and growth trends around each school. For example, Bradley recently received word of a proposed addition of more than 430 single-family homes plus an apartment complex that will be going up near 44th Street and Mustang Road, close to the elementary school currently under construction. Current school population and growth trends are also important to consider. Some south-side elementary schools have a much larger boundary because population density and growth history is much lower than it is for north side elementary schools.
Besides attempting to balance the populations at the schools, transportation is vital to the equation.
“Transportation is one of the most significant factors involved in the planning process,” Bradley said. “Every student from kindergarten up is assigned a bus route. When we were building the proposed boundaries, we have to take into account the number of bus routes, total number of students and routes per site and the distance and time it takes to transport students to and from school.”
Although necessary, Bradley understands that realigning boundaries and having students switch schools makes parents uneasy.
“Realigning the boundaries when the district opens a new school is always difficult because of the emotions involved,” Bradley said. “In the end, it’s a good problem to have. It shows how much our parents and our students love their schools. And change is always difficult, even when it’s necessary.”
There will be events in the spring where students moving to a new school will have a chance to visit their new site and meet the principals.
When a date and time for the forum has been announced, it will be emailed to parents, put on the district website and announced on the district Facebook page. The board will have an opportunity to vote on the new boundaries at the February meeting.