BA Schools Offering Early Education To All Students

Tuesday, May 19th 2015, 12:05 am
By: News On 6

Kids are learning in pre-K what they used to learn in kindergarten.

Broken Arrow Public Schools is one of the first in Oklahoma to offer tuition-free, full-day early childhood education to every student in the district.

Right now the district is enrolling for B&A Connections Summer Camp, which is similar to what BA does during the year at early childhood facilities - teach kids at an earlier age. The summer camp is for children from kindergarten to fifth grade.

Little Lydia has a big advantage in the classroom because her dad, Andrew Martin, enrolled her in Broken Arrow's optional early childhood program for 4-year-olds. The district is currently enrolling children for the 4-year-old program for the next school year.

Lydia's dad had no idea just how important that would be.

"She's learning to read in an environment, she's learning how to pick up a pen, start writing her name," Martin said.

As Lydia started learning, two teachers recognized she might be developmentally delayed.

Martin said a team of teachers came together to create a special curriculum for her.

"Now she's in half a day program. She's able to function in the class, but we go down the hallway to get high-fives," he said.

Staff at Creekwood Early Childhood Center was able to identify Lydia's different learning style early on, and now she's ahead of the game as a 5-year-old.

Karla Dyess is the Executive Director of Elementary Education for the district. She said 1,200 BA 4-year-olds are enrolled at the district's four early childhood schools.

She said kindergarten teachers tell a difference between the kids who do pre-k, and kids who don't.

"Their maturity. They can stand in line, take turns. And just their overall readiness for school. It's a huge difference," Dyess said.

That's why Broken Arrow has B&A Connections, summer learning for pre-k, so little students like little Lydia can start learning sooner.

Oklahoma is considered one of the top states for early childhood education.

Other nearby districts like Jenks and Union also offer early childhood programs.

You can learn more about the programs online.