Frequently Asked Questions
Gardendale Pre-K 4 SA Early Learning Program
- What is the Gardendale Pre-K 4 SA Early Learning Program?
The Gardendale Pre-K 4 SA Early Learning Program is an Innovative School Partnership that brings together two professional learning organizations, the Edgewood Independent School District and Pre-K 4 SA. Together, the focus is to provide high-quality instruction to students from Pre-K through 2nd grade.
- What is Pre-K 4 SA?
Pre-K 4 SA is a comprehensive early childhood initiative aimed at changing the education and workforce trajectory of San Antonio in one generation. Pre-K 4 SA offers full-day pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds living in the City of San Antonio. The Pre-K 4 SA Professional Learning program provides pre-kindergarten through third grade educators in San Antonio with complementary continuing education to support best practice instruction to help every child in San Antonio excel. The Pre-K 4 SA Competitive Grants program provides more than $4 million in funding annually to increase quality and access in early childhood programs throughout San Antonio.
- How is Gardendale changing?
Edgewood ISD is partnering with Pre-K 4 SA to create a School of Innovation that brings together two high quality early learning programs, EISD and Pre-K 4 SA. Edgewood ISD will offer three types of prekindergarten programs: 1. Campus prekindergarten, 2. Head Start, and 3. Pre-K 4 SA. Pre-K 4 SA specializes in high-quality early learning programming for students from prekindergarten to 3rd grade.
- Why is Pre-K important?
Children begin learning from the moment they are born, but studies have proven that age four is a critical juncture in the learning process. Having tackled rudimentary functions such as walking, talking, balance and manipulation of objects, they are entering a critical phase which includes developing memory, imagination and understanding. This is why strategically designed play is so critical at this young age. A strong prekindergarten program will utilize play, a child’s natural tendency, to instill concepts of numbers, literacy, language, social skills and essential critical thinking skills. This early exposure gives children an educational advantage and creates future students that love to learn, are confident, ask questions and eagerly participate in their education — and eventually, their communities.
- Why focus on Pre-K 4 to 2nd grade?
The focus on PK-2nd grades targets the early development of brain functioning. During these critical years, language, literacy, communication, mathematics and social emotional learning are developing in the young child. PK-2nd are important years for a child to develop their independence, creativity, thinking, decision making, problem solving skills, and build healthy relationships with their peers and adults.
- What schedule does Gardendale Pre-K 4 SA program follow?
The Gardendale Pre-K 4 SA Early Learning Program is a full-day program and follows the elementary school’s start time of 7:45 a.m. with classes ending at 3:15 pm. After school care is provided until 6:00 p.m. for qualifying children. The program will follow the District’s 2019-2020 Academic Calendar.
Eligibility and Registration
- Will my child/children have to transfer schools before he/she finishes elementary school?
- Students currently enrolled in K, 1st and 2nd during the 2018-2019 school year will transfer the 3rd-5th Grade Campus in 2021-2022.
- Current 3rd, 4th, and 5th grader students will remain in Gardendale to complete 5th
- Where will the 3rd – 5th grade students be attending?
The grade 3-5 students will attend the new 3rd-5th grade campus in 2021-2022 and is located in the STEAM Innovation Zone that feeds into Brentwood Middle School and Kennedy High School.
- Is a fifth grader eligible to request a transfer to the middle school of his/her choice to attend sixth grader?
Yes, 5th graders are eligible to select their middle school campus based on their program of choice
- Will EISD students have priority in enrolling?
Yes, students living in the Gardendale attendance zone will have priority to attend the PK and K classes in 2019-2020. If the classes are not filled, we will then invite students living in the EISD attendance area.
- Can I apply if I live outside the district?
Yes, applications are open to eligible student(s) who reside outside of the district. If you would like to register, apply on Pre-K 4 SA's site. Selection for out of district applicants will begin on April 15.
- Can students of Edgewood ISD employees apply, even if they live out of the district?
Students of Edgewood ISD employees who reside outside of the district may apply for an open seat.
- Are there any 4-year-old prekindergarten eligibility requirements for enrollment?
Yes. To be eligible for enrollment in a 4-year-old PK class, a child must be 4 years of age on September 1 of the current school year and must meet one of the following requirements:
- be unable to speak and comprehend the English language; or
- be educationally disadvantaged (eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program)
- be homeless; or
- be the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserved component of the armed forces, who is ordered to active duty by proper authority; or
- be the child of a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserved component of the armed forces, who was injured or killed while serving on active duty; or
- have ever been in the conservatorship of the Texas DFPS (foster care) following an adversary hearing.
- is the child of a person eligible for the Star of Texas Award as:
- a peace officer under Section 3106.002, Government Code;
- a firefighter under section 3106.003, Government Code; or
- an emergency medical first responder under Section 3106.004, Government Code.
- What can I do if I do not meet the prekindergarten eligibility requirements?
We are currently exploring tuition options for students who do not meet any of the 4-year-old eligibility requirements for enrollment and will provide information at a later date.
- What is the deadline for enrolling?
The deadline for Edgewood ISD prekindergarten and kindergarten pre-registration is March 29, 2019. Notification of acceptance will be sent no later than April 12, 2019.
- If my child does not pre-register and enroll in the Gardendale Pre-K 4 SA Early Learning Program, what are my options?
Students not attending the Gardendale Pre-K 4 SA Early Learning Program may enroll in our other campus-based prekindergarten programs at all district elementary schools, except Stafford Elementary and Roosevelt Elementary. The campus programs have the same eligibility requirements for enrollment as Gardendale. Parents may also choose to send their 3- or 4-year-old to one of our two Head Start Centers: Cardenas Early Childhood Center or Stafford Early Childhood Center.
Edgewood ISD partners with Pre-K 4 SA so that children can apply to attend one of the four Pre-K 4 SA Education Centers which are located on the north, south, west, and east sides of San Antonio.
Curriculum & Instruction
- What is the class size (student: teacher ratio)?
The class sizes for Gardendale prekindergarten classes will have a ratio of 20:2 (10 students: 1 adult) in 2019-2020. Kindergarten through 2nd grade will have a 22:1 (22 students: 1 adult).
- How many teachers are in the class, and what are their qualifications?
There will be one certified teacher and one highly qualified teacher assistant in each prekindergarten classroom and one certified teacher in each kindergarten classroom.
- What curriculum will be used in the program?
Pre-K 4 SA follows the HighScope approach to teaching young children. This approach is backed by more than 40 years of research with benefits evident even decades later. It hinges on consistent routine and purposeful play encouraging children to be active participants in their own learning. While the children think they are just playing, they are actually developing language skills, mathematical thinking, scientific concepts, and literacy. They are also developing strong social-emotional skills, which are critical to not only school success, but life success. From the minute they enter the door until they leave at the end of the day, children are engaged in active learning. Each step is strategically designed to build a strong academic foundation and critical thinking skills such as planning, problem solving and leadership.
The HighScope approach is consistent with the best practices recommended by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and meets all state standards.
- Will there be options for Bilingual or Dual Language Classes?
Yes, the program will provide a One-Way Dual Language Bilingual program in grades prekindergarten (PK) and kindergarten (K) in 2019-2020, grades PK-1st in 2020-2021, and PK-2nd in 2021-2022.
- Will transportation be provided by the district?
Transportation will not be provided for the students who live outside the district boundaries.
Transportation will be provided for the following campuses at the location listed below:
- Pre-K students from Las Palmas, Perales, H.B. Gonzalez, Stafford, and Winston will be picked up at: Las Palmas Library located at 515 Castroville Road, San Antonio, TX 78237
- Pre-K students from Roosevelt, L.B. Johnson, Loma Park, and Cisneros will be picked up at: Roosevelt Elementary located at 3823 Fortuna, San Antonio, TX 78237