Sweetwater ISD is considering the establishment of a tuition-based Pre-K in the district, which was discussed at the June meeting of the SISD Board of Trustees.
Following the closure of Sweetwater Christian School, the district was being contacted by parents who were looking for a place to enroll their children, which began the process of Sweetwater ISD determining if they would be able to meet the need.
Already, the district offers income-based care to those who qualify at J.P. Cowen. However, several of the families who took advantage of Sweetwater Christian School would not qualify for the district's program based on their income.
Some research has been conducted by the district, in that the youngest students allowed into the Pre-K program would be three years old once the school year began. A certified teacher would be required, and the district would like to operate the class with a 15 to 1, student-to-teacher ratio, although the maximum is 22 students.
Additionally, the district has taken to its social media pages and website to determine community interest in the program. Employees of the district were contacted about the possibility of the program as well.
The program would be eligible for the lunch program and could possibly be located at Southeast Elementary. No room is available to house the program at J.P. Cowen, and the district would like to keep the tuition-based program separate from the federal Head Start program.
The goal would be to have a three year old class and a four year class, which would meet five days a week. However, the district wants to learn how great the need is within the community to determine if they could financially be able to operate the program.
Following the discussion, the board approved for further research to be conducted toward the establishment of the tuition-based program.