Houston-area public schools pre-k programs
Houston (Gulf Coast)-area school districts offer preschool and Pre-K (pre-k) programs to prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond. Their mission is to provide planned and purposeful play in a nurturing and safe environment. From introduction to numbers and letters, to beginning math concepts and recognizing sight words, our elementary schools provide a first-rate Pre-K curriculum that is full-day and tuition free.
Some Gulf Coast-area schools can accept children as young as age 3 into their preschool programs before they are old enough to enter a pre-kindergarten program. According to the Texas Education Agency, children must be at least 4 years old on September 1 of the current school year in order to enroll in Pre-K. Other criteria that must be met are listed here.
All public school districts are required to comply with certain educational standards, like the Common Core initiative. However, Texas schools adhere to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (or TEKS) state standards. These state standards apply to grades kindergarten through 12, and they address the areas of English/ language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, as well as health education, foreign language, physical education, technology, and fine arts
Children in preschool and Pre-K from age 3-5 have the opportunity to be evaluated for speech therapy. Speech language pathologists can help identify a child’s need for special services. In addition to speech therapy and early intervention, the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) provides services for occupational therapy and physical therapy, depending on each child’s individual needs. Gulf Coast-area school districts offer a continuum of services, which means there is a variety of services and several locations to receive services in the area. Early identification of a child’s needs and initiation of a special education treatment plan before kindergarten is a beneficial free service parents can take advantage of during the preschool years.
Gulf Coast- area school districts’ preschool and Pre-K curriculum allows children to get a jumpstart on Kindergarten, which can lead to a more comfortable and successful introduction to their elementary school education. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of no-cost early intervention and free special needs testing in order to benefit fully from these services.
Additional benefits to students involved in pre-k:
- Children who enroll in preschool and Pre-K programs are more likely to have an easier transition into elementary school.
- Children in preschool and Pre-K programs are identified as special needs students earlier than those who do not enter the district before beginning elementary school.
- Children ages 3-5 are entitled to no-cost special services through PPCD (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities).
- Economically disadvantaged and dual language learners benefit more from Pre-K than their more advantaged or English-speaking peers.