The district is also investigating the possibility of adding capacity for Pre-Kindergarten options as improvements are made to some or all of the district’s elementary schools. Expanding Pre-K options for residents who have children who turn four years old by August 1 would allow significantly more students to enter our kindergartens with at least one year’s experience in a high-quality preschool.
Research confirms that children who participate in quality early childhood programming are:
Less likely to commit a felony
Less likely to drop out of high school
Less likely to need government assistance
More likely to go to college
More likely to own their own home
… and will earn more income over their lifetime
Should the district be able to provide this option, the Ladue Early Childhood Center would continue to provide the many other services it offers, including preschool programming for three-year-olds, toddler programming, the Parents as Teachers Program, St. Louis County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and Special School District services for children not yet eligible for kindergarten who need additional educational services.
Two athletes are going to race each other in the 40-yard dash.
One racer gets to start 20 yards behind the starting line and has a full head of steam going by the time they get to the starting line.
The other racer is just trying to figure out how to use the starting blocks.
Who is going to win the race?
Such is the case as students with widely different preschool experiences enter our kindergartens.
Moving Toward Equity of Opportunity for Preschool
It would be ideal if every student who walked into our kindergartens had a high-quality preschool experience — preferably one that aligns directly with our Ladue Schools curriculum. But this is not something we can make happen overnight and it will need the support of the community, which may also take time to build. However, in light of the overwhelming research, we have identified short-term, mid-term and long-term goals.
Specifically, as we look at making improvements to our four elementary schools, we are also looking into the possibility of adding preschool classrooms to some or all of them. It may be that a few additional classrooms that would not greatly impact costs overall could greatly improve the academic outlook for students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a high-quality preschool.
This effort all aligns with our objective to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, the education/equity gaps where they exist in our district.