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Ivey announces 64 new Pre-K classrooms

On Wednesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced that 64 new pre-K classrooms will be funded through the Pre-K through 3rd Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning (P-3) for the 2024-2025 school year.

This will bring the number of classrooms impacted by the P-3 approach to 413 in 29 counties. The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education and the Alabama State Department of Education are working together to align instructional practices, assessments and leadership from pre-k through third grade. The goal of the P-3 approach, now moving into its eighth year, is to expand the early learning continuum from First Class Pre-K through third grade.

"What started in 2017 with 35 classrooms has now grown into a seamless learning continuum for students from pre-k to third grade," said Governor Ivey. "As part of my Strong Start, Strong Finish initiative, this program ensures a comprehensive educational approach that aligns and integrates with student learning during the crucial years when children experience the greatest growth potential."

The recipient schools are as follows:

• New Bethel Elementary School in Colbert County

• Howell Graves Preschool in Colbert County

• G. W. Trenholm Primary School in Colbert County

• Parkside Elementary School in Cullman County

• Lauderdale Elementary School in Lauderdale County

• Underwood Elementary School in Lauderdale County

• Sweet Water High School in Marengo County

• Boaz Elementary School in Marshall County

• Covenant Academy of Mobile in Mobile County

• Barkley Bridge Elementary School in Morgan County

• South Shades Crest Elementary School in Shelby County

• Taylorville Primary School in Tuscaloosa County

• Curry Elementary School in Walker County

• Lupton Elementary School in Walker County

• Oakman Elementary School in Walker County

• Parrish Elementary School in Walker County

• Double Springs Elementary School in Walker County

Jan Hume is the acting secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education.

"This successful partnership with local school systems and the Alabama State Department of Education is one of the many examples of the great work going on around the state to ensure that more children have access to high-quality, age-appropriate learning that provides a solid foundation for the long-term success of Alabama's young learners," said Secretary Hume.

The state is hoping that the Alabama Pre-K–3rd Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning builds upon student success and narrows the achievement gap by expanding access to Alabama's high-quality pre-k model. P-3 is funded by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education through the governor's Strong Start, Strong Finish education initiative. For more information, visit children.alabama.gov/for-educators/pre-k-3rd-grade-early-learning.

The state has sunk tens of millions of dollars into expanding its award-winning 4-year-old classrooms (Pre-K). To this point in time, that has not actually translated into raising test scores to even the national average in the fourth grade or beyond so the state is adding more pre-K classrooms, integrating pre-K into the K-3 curriculum through P-3, revamping third grade reading instruction through the Literacy Act, and hiring dozens of math coaches to teach elementary school teachers how to better teach math as part of implementation of the Numeracy Act.

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