What pre-K options are available for Savannah-Chatham County students?

Read this informative article published by Savannah Now that features the Savannah Classical Academy in a list of premier pre-K schools that are available in the Savannah area.

Editor’s note: This article was updated to include clarification from the Department of Early Care and Learning’s interpretation of the term “universal childcare” as provided by its Chief Communications Officer Reg Griffin. An update has also been provided to clarify that SCCPSS pre-K students will not receive notice of eligibility because the only eligibility requirements are related to the student’s age and Chatham County residency .

The Savannah Morning News is committed to helping Chatham County families navigate the various schooling options available to them. This article is part of those ongoing efforts and includes updates on SCCPSS kindergarten orientation and pre-K options for those still searching.

Just over a month ago, hundreds of families in Savannah-Chatham County completed their Choice School applications for Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) pre-K, kindergarten and choice schools.

SCCPSS sent the Notification of Lottery Eligibility on Thursday, Feb. 29 to choice program applicants. Pre-K students were not sent a notice because the only eligibility requirements are that the child must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the applying year and they must be a resident of Chatham County.

Families should review these other important follow-up dates.

EventDate
​Notification of Lottery Eligibility Sent to Parents​​February 29, 2024
Appeal Process​March 1 – March 7, 2024​
LotteryMarch 11, 2024
Data Quality and Validation PeriodMarch 12 – March 13, 2024
Parents Notified of Choice Results & Registration BeginsMarch 14, 2024, after 4:00pm
Registration Closes March 27, 2024
After Lottery Applications OpenApril 8, 2024
SCCPSS Choice Program timeline

SCCPSS sets kindergarten orientation

Parents interested in Kindergarten Orientation can attend a session at any one of the elementary or K8 sites (except for A.B. Williams and Shuman Elementary schools) from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on March 27.

The district stated that orientation provides students with the “opportunity to visit a kindergarten classroom and participate in activities that will help them feel comfortable about starting school.” The message also stated school staff will conduct parent information sessions on registration and preparing children for school as well as expectations of the SCCPSS Kindergarten Program.

Families are encouraged to contact the elementary school or K-8 school where their child will be attending pre-K. Families can review further registration information and school attendance zones on the SCCPSS School Registration page of the district’s website.

Savannah Classical Academy has renovated a former administrative office to accommodate its first ever pre-K offering during the 2024-25 school year. The room also features artwork such as this tree created by the school's art teacher, Anna Truax. Credit: Joseph Schwartzburt, The Savannah Morning News

New 2024-25 pre-K opportunity in Chatham County

Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) has announced that it will offer a pre-K program starting Aug. 1, the beginning of the 2024-25 academic school year. The program is not part of the state’s lottery funded programs, so it will cost families $175 per week. The program doesn’t offer scholarships, but the SCA Foundation, a non-profit separate from the school but with the mission of supporting it financially, has launched campaigns focused on reducing costs associated with the program. SCA’s CEO Barry Lollis envisions future scholarship opportunities as the program develops beyond its first year.

He also explained on a recent tour that the choice to have SCA’s pre-K remain independent from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s (DECAL) Bright From the Start program is about instructional flexibility. “It’s almost a very scripted program that comes with a whole bunch of parameters,” he said. He acknowledged that many are “good” parameters but said there is virtually no room to differentiate instruction between children who might be at different stages of learning development.

Lollis did mention that the SCA pre-K program is not yet able to provide auxiliary student services, such as speech therapy or visual impairment services. He assured that if families still wanted to attend SCA’s pre-K program and their student required auxiliary services then the school would work with families to locate community resources.

The program is open to all Chatham County residents. There is a $50 application fee. With roughly 12 applicants so far, the program is still accepting applications for its 20-25 available slots. Lollis is leaning toward 20 for the first year as the class settles into a newly renovated room on the first floor of SCA. The renovations are nearly complete and the school’s new art teacher, Anna Truax, has been adding some flare to the walls. Lollis also noted that the program will have a certified pre-K teacher and assistant.

To read the rest of this informative article, click here.

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