Thursday, April 01, 2010

Here we go again...

As the end of the school year rapidly approaches my attention turns to what opportunities will be available for my children next year. I have already established myself in my children's school as being active in their academic and extra-curricular activities. Most of the schools staff know me by name, and those that don't know me personally have heard "stories" of me and my children. My children are the brightest of their classes and I'd feel confident saying they are probably some of the brightest in their grade level. I know for a fact they are the top readers for their grade level with a word count that many children in higher grade levels aren't able to achieve. I pride myself in being available to my children for their studies and in encouraging my child to excel in every area.

This month, Emma turns four which means she is of age to enter the Pre-K program this upcoming August. In the past, I had no success enrolling Emily in this school's Pre-K program due to the fact that she is NOT Spanish-dominant and she is NOT academically challenged. Our income in the past has not been within the bracket that they set for this program, and my husband is no longer active military. It seems all my avenues of approach are road-blocked one way or another. This year, I'm gonna take a few extra measures to make sure that Emma get the education I know she is ready for and deserves.

The guidelines that the district has placed for the Pre-K eligibility confuse me...

PRE KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM

ECISD will provide Half-day Pre-Kindergarten classes for all eligible students for the 2009-2010 school year.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the Pre-Kindergarten Program, the child must be:

Four (4) years old on or before September 1st

Unable to speak and comprehend the English language or

Educationally disadvantaged; or

Homeless, as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11302, regardless of residence of the child, of either

parent of the child, or of the child’s guardian or other person having lawful control of the child.

Children of active duty military members, including members of the armed forces that have been

injured or killed while on active duty.

Have ever been in the conservatorship (foster care) of the Department of Family and Protective

Services (DFPS) following an adversary hearing.


(Source: http://www.ecisd.us/143310107105280/lib/143310107105280/0910StudentHandbookENG.pdf)


I understand that the school system is trying to lend a hand to those kids that are academically challenged, but it makes no sense to me that those that are ready and eager to learn are cast aside and ignored in this particular district. Other neighboring districts have an open enrollment Pre-K program such as P.SJ.A.


It seems that I might have a window by exploiting the military family "option"


The groundbreaking passage of House Bill 1, which expands pre-k access to children of military personnel, would not have been possible without strong support from its sponsors: Representatives Lois Kolkhorst, Dianne Delisi, Dennis Bonnen, Toby Goodman, Gene Seaman, Joe Straus, Veronica Gonzales, Aaron Pena*, Mark Strama, Carlos Uresti, and Michael Villarreal; Senators Kip Averitt, Florence Shapiro, Steve Ogden, Judith Zaffirini, Leticia Van de Putte, and Eliot Shapleigh. This bipartisan group of legislators understands the importance of pre-k, and the passage of this bill represents significant progress towards providing voluntary pre-k for all of Texas's children.


(Source: http://www.preknow.org/resource/profiles/texas.cfm0

* http://www.aaronpena.com/contact.htm

It seems that this kind of "discrimination" happens with lots of frequency in the RGV. By what I've researched so far it looks like I've opened a huge can or worms for myself and those that might get involved by supporting me. If in fighting for my daughter to get a Pre-K education, I have to fight for others that are in my shoes, I will gladly do so. I will not allow that opportunities be denied to my children or doors closed for them because I've take the time and effort to prepare them for their academic future. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step... consider this the first one.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is really amazing to me that there is a policy like this where there is no open enrollment and for some reason doesn't allow your child to go to Pre-K! I hope you can make a difference in this district Elda!

    ReplyDelete