Beaufort Co. educators concerned by low preschool enrollment

Beaufort Co. educators concerned by low preschool enrollment

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - The Beaufort County School District says they are seeing concerningly low numbers in preschool registration for the new year.

For many students, preschool is an essential way to form the social and emotional skills you need to succeed in kindergarten and first grade. In Beaufort County, they are saying lower registration numbers for preschool and they say that is a major concern.

“Across the district we are seeing a decrease of children registering for pre-K and kindergarten,” Director of School Readiness, Ashley Hutchison said.

Leaders are not sure why they are seeing lower Pre-K registration numbers for the 2021 school year, but want to remind parents why preschool is so important.

“Without having that opportunity of being in preschool and readiness for kindergarten or at least being close to that Mark, my children are starting behind. We see an increase in graduation rates with students to attend a Pre-K program, we also see increase cognitive, verbal language skills and motor skills as well,” Director of Instruction, Mary Stratos said.

In South Carolina, preschool is reserved for the most at-risk children.

“It often gives children that head start, that push to make them successful.”

The district has 60 classrooms open across the county that children, if accepted, can attend at no extra cost to parents.

“In Beaufort County All pre-kindergarten students have to be screened to determined eligibility for the program.”

They say it is vital for future success whether verbal or social. “By the age of five you should have had acquisition of 15,000 words.”

“It’s making sure that they are interrupting with the cost as a whole, the teachers, the assistant in the classroom, just to help them be prepared for that kindergarten, first, and second grade classroom.”

Registration does extend throughout the summer and the district says that everyone should have their child evaluated if they think preschool is something they could benefit from.

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