Free full-day schooling available for qualified students in area Pre-K program

Enrollment is open for the 2020-21 school year

Courtesy of Pre-K 4 SA

Parents, do you still need to enroll your child in pre-kindergarten for the upcoming school year?

Pre-K 4 SA is accepting applications for the 2020-21 school year at its four education centers, in addition to its replication site, Gardendale Early Learning Program.

The application process serves families of 4-year-olds across San Antonio on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-K 4 SA is free for qualifying students and also accepts tuition-paying students.

Classes for the 2020-21 academic year will resume Aug. 17 with 100% remote learning. When enrolling, families will have a choice of remote learning or in-person learning for the rest of the academic year when it is deemed safe to go back, by local health officials.

“Our open enrollment process helps eliminate the stress for families seeking access to high-quality prekindergarten, and it allows us to immediately begin building relationships with our children and their families,” said Sarah Baray, Pre-K 4 SA CEO. “We remain confident in the curriculum and teaching methods in our classrooms (and through remote learning) that demonstrate our children are not only ready for kindergarten, but show positive results well into elementary school.”

While the most impactful early learning happens in a classroom with a highly skilled teacher, Pre-K 4 SA is committed to providing a remote learning track for families that choose to educate their children at home.

For parents who choose the remote learning experience, the school will keep the focus on high-quality early learning while delivering instruction from a distance.

“Pre-K 4 SA is adding new safety features and developing new sanitation protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 for students and staff when we return to our education center,” Baray said. “Drawing on the latest guidance from public health officials and our own consulting physician, we’ve organized our work around three goals -- one, keep the virus out of the building. Two, reduce the chance of an outbreak. And three, respond quickly to potential COVID exposure. We have outlined our health and safety protocols for in-person learning on our website.”

The program offers a comprehensive early childhood initiative aimed at changing the education and workforce trajectory of San Antonio in one generation through high-quality pre-kindergarten education.

“Every day of instruction matters,” Baray said. “This is especially true in the early years, as brain research tells us those years are the most critical for long-term success. Research conducted provides evidence that San Antonio’s bold investment in Pre-K 4 SA’s early learning is paying off.”

Children who live in partner school districts are eligible, even if that residence lies outside the San Antonio city limits.

Parents of eligible students can apply online to complete the entire application process or by calling the enrollment hotline to talk to a Pre-K 4 SA staff member.

A community impact study released in 2019 by the Urban Education Institute at The University of Texas at San Antonio evaluated the impact of Pre-K 4 SA on social and academic outcomes over time. Children must turn 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the year they attend Pre-K 4 SA.

On average, students enrolled in Pre-K 4 SA’s initial class had stronger STAAR exam scores on third-grade reading and math, better attendance, and less need for special education services than students who did not participate in public pre-kindergarten.