The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

April 9, 2010

Gibbs Center to host Pre-K Roundup

By Mary Rainwater
Staff Reporter

HUNTSVILLE — The Mary McAshan Gibbs Pre-Kindergarten Center will hosts its annual pre-kindergarten roundup next week, giving prospective parents a head start on enrolling their child for the 2010-11 school year.

The three-day event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  April 13-15 at the school, located at  located at 1800 19th St. in Huntsville.

“We have had good participation in the roundup in the past,” Gibbs principal Rosa Valles said. “About 270 parents came and enrolled their child during the roundup last year.”

During the roundup, parents will be able to pickup and fill out pre-kindergarten enrollment applications on site, with school staff on hand to verify documents and provide general assistance to the parent/guardian.

“One of the more important things we will be looking at are immunization records,” school principal Rosa Valles said. “The state requires the students to be current on vaccinations in order to enroll. Our school nurse will be there to check those records.”

Gibbs staff members also will be giving tours of the school during the event.

“The tours will allow the parents to see our kids in action,” Valles said. “They will be shown places like the campus garden, the gym, the computer lab and library — to see what the students do during a typical day.”

Huntsville Independent School District offers transportation to students, free breakfast for all students and free lunch for those who qualify. The typical school day runs from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. weekdays, Valles said.

Pre-K students must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2010, to enroll in the program, which is free for all who qualify and $300 per month for nine months for those who do not meet qualifications.

“There is no limit on enrollment,” Valles said. “We accept all children that qualify, as well as those who are tuition-paying.”

HISD’s pre-kindergarten program has continued to grow over the years, with Valles reporting an enrollment of 319 students in 2008-09 and  a current enrollment of 383 students.

“There is no way to tell what our numbers might be next year — you just never know,” she said. “But we do hope to see that growth increase.”

In addition to the child’s shot record, applicants need to bring the following documents to complete the registration: A document of birth or proof of identification for the child, the child’s Social Security Card (or copy), and proof of residency (current utility bill, tax statement, or an unexpired lease agreement which shows a physical address).

Application assistance will be offered in English and Spanish. For more information contact the Gibbs Pre-K Center at (936) 293-2837.