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Petersburg Pre-K sees stark drop in enrollment

Posted at 4:52 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 18:05:00-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Four-year-old Jace Cox is excited about school despite that his first year in Pre-K will start at home.

His parents stopped by Westview Early Childhood Education Center in Petersburg to enroll him. But with just 21 days until the First Day of School, enrollment at Westview is a serious issue.

"Right now, we are at about 50 percent of our enrollment from last year, so we have a lot of work to do," Petersburg Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin said.

Educators say Pre-K three and four-year-olds need to be in school, even if it's virtual.

"Pre-K sets the tone and the path for quality instruction and learning for the next 12-13 years, so it's really important we set the foundation here at our early learning center," said Petersburg Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin.

While enrollment here is drastically behind schedule, the Superintendent said Westview is geared up for the school year to start.

"Being enrolled in our School System will allow them to receive things like a Chromebook Touch Pad".

Principal Stacie Parham said that students will also get a new VTECH Device.

Educators say the VTECH Device will help with the virtual school experience by helping teach the basics.

"For our students, it is starting to recognize their letters, their letter sounds" said Parham.

Students will also receive a learning kit with pencils, crayons, and books, and parents will receive the same instruction book the teachers use.

"The teachers are actually going to use this during their real-time instruction and then parents can work through it," said Parham.

Teachers will also be recording videos that parents can pull up anytime to watch with their children.

The key though is getting Petersburg Parents of three and four-year-olds to register as soon as possible.