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Corpus Christi ISD opening pre-k enrollment to 3-year-olds

District officials said there are lots of benefits to starting a child's education at such an early age.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two elementary schools in Corpus Christi Independent School District now have a pre-K program for 3-year-olds. 

Metro Elementary School of Design and Zavala Elementary School will now accept kids as young as 3. District officials said there are lots of benefits to starting a child's education at such an early age.

"We're in it to try to develop and try to cultivate students learning at any early age so they'll be ready for kindergarten," said Dr. Cynthia Hernandez, coordinator of elementary curriculum and instruction at CCISD.

Dr. Hernandez said CCISD pre-K programs are usually made up of 5-year-olds. But after 3-year-olds were added, their rosters filled up quickly. She said more than half of students enrolled in their pre-K programs are prepared for kindergarten.

"Not only is there nationwide research," Hernandez said, "but we have our own research in CCISD that showed that 58 percent of our kindergarten students who attended pre-K were kindergarten ready."

3-year-olds were added to Metro E and Zavala Elementary after their principals said they wanted to start students sooner. Hernandez said Metro E is considered a school of choice, meaning anyone district-wide can go there with proper transfer paperwork. She said transportation to Metro E is also available.

"We see this as something that, over time, kids are going through the system and they've got, they're on the right path to making great success," Hernandez said.

Hernandez said CCISD pre-K programs are always open enrollment. All campuses currently have programs for 4-year-olds, but she said the district is hoping to expand pre-K further next year. She said students can expect to learn oral language, early math, reading skills and social skills.

"Learning how to interact, how to behave, how to say please and thank you, how to function in school, and we know that it's, really sets kids apart when they get this opportunity to attend pre-kindergarten," Hernandez said.

CCISD pre-K classes average 20-22 students and tuition is $475 if a student is not eligible for free pre-K, according to Hernandez.

There will be a pre-K registration event from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on February 18 at the CCISD Instructional Resource Center.

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