Northside Primary School is adding a new class this fall for kindergarten-aged students: the “KEY” class, which stands for Kindergarten Extra Year.
Principal Barbara Dutton said the class presents a new option for students of Palestine Independent School District, serving as a foundation year between pre-K and kindergarten.
“It's for 5-year-olds who could go to kindergarten but their parents choose to keep them in the KEY class for an extra year of growth and development,” Dutton said. “It is a huge foundation-building year actually. This will be a class that provides above and beyond a normal kindergarten year.
“We will do lots of field trips, lots of experiences, lots of project-based learning.”
The class requires an activity fee of $1,000, Dutton said, “and that's to cover things like extra activities, extra field trips.”
Dutton said the class will meet from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Parents can pick up their students when school gets out, or they can opt to participate in an extended daycare program that will be offered to KEY students.
The program, typically only available to children of PISD employees, will allow KEY students to be transported to Washington Early Childhood Center. The cost for the extended daycare is $2 per day.
“So they can come to school all day long for the $1,000-a-year fee, and then they can have after-school day care for just $2 a day, until 5 p.m.,” Dutton said.
So far, the class has six students enrolled — all children of PISD teachers and employees. But now is the time that Dutton is ready to open the class to the community. She said she expects to enroll a maximum of 15 students.
Transfer students are welcome to apply and will be placed on a waiting list, Dutton added.