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Planning on sending your 3-year-old to pre-kindergarten at Neligh-Oakdale? If you haven't signed up yet, your 3-year-old won't be going this fall.
Mary Schrader, PK-6 principal at Neligh-Oakdale, told the Board of Education last week that the pre-kindergarten program has grown so much that there will be as many 3-year-olds on the waiting list as there are enrolled in the fall.
The district has a morning and an afternoon pre-kindergarten class, along with a waiting list that's at nearly double figures.
“It has been the policy of the district to accept all of the four-year-olds first,” Schrader said.
She said the morning class of 4-year-olds has reached capacity at 20, and six or seven will also be enrolled in the afternoon class, limiting the number of openings for 3-year-olds.
“Sadly, because of state regulations, we will end up with only 9-10 spots for three-year-olds in the afternoon. The waiting list will be 9-10 as well,” Schrader said.
While the district reserves two or three spots for families with a 4-year-old who may move into the district over the summer, they will fill those spots with 3-year-olds on the waiting list for the upcoming school year if no other students move in.
Schrader said it still leaves many 3-year-olds without a spot in the Neligh-Oakdale district because they do not have the resources to meet the legal challenges of the growing classes at this time.
According to state law, Schrader said classroom capacity is maximized at 20 students per classroom for 12 hours each week.
"There is no way to get another 12-hour section in there. We would need another room. We are limited by facility and limited by staff as we would need another teacher,” Schrader said.