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Brookhaven to reduce tuition, expand preschool

Brookhaven School District announced Wednesday it is decreasing the cost of tuition and expanding its preschool program, located at Mamie Martin Elementary, for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.

The preschool is open to all 3- and 4-year-olds, regardless of school district residency. Beginning August 2016, Mamie Martin’s preschool will be $200 per month with a one-time $50 registration fee.

Erin Smith

Erin Smith

Brookhaven School District Board President Erin Smith said the tuition change and expansion are to encourage participation and to improve access for the entire community.

“I think it’s really important when thinking about the state testing that the children participate in throughout their lives, to start them out early,” Smith said. “It’s great in preparing our kids for their academic future. It’s also good for the pocket books of our community.”

The district is preparing to accommodate 20 3-year-old children in one class, and 100 4-year-old children in five classes, Smith said. Currently, the three-year-old class is full, she said, but there are still 80 spots left for four-year-olds.

“The day care has been at Mamie Martin forever,” Smith said. “The reason why we are restructuring the program is mostly for our 4-year-old classes — that is where the most exciting changes will occur.”

Each of the six classes will have a certified teacher and a teacher’s assistant. The program will build on phonics and reading comprehension.

“Our goal is to maximize our students’ potential and obtain the highest level possible on the third grade gateway reading test, and other state tests these children will face in their future,” Smith said. “With these changes, we expect to see academic growth that will improve performance and our overall district rating.”

“I’ve had a child go through the program, and personally it greatly prepared him for kindergarten,” she said. “The current preschool staff at Mamie Martin have laid a great foundation and will continue to be an invaluable resource for this pilot program. All of the staff has done a great job of creating the foundation. We are all excited to see where the program goes.”

Parents of 3- and 4-year-olds are encouraged to explore the newly structured BSD preschool program. Registration is now open. For information regarding the Mamie Martin Preschool, please contact Principal Rob McCreary at 601-833-0007.