Pre-K Half Day Sessions to Begin in August for Odessa Students

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Half day school schedules for Pre-K students, that's the debate going on in Ector County.

Whether or not you're in favor, it's going to happen starting in August.

This isn't the first time ECISD has done half-day sessions for Pre-K.

The district was using the same format about five years ago, before going to the current full day schedule.

School officials tell NewsWest Nine, it's all about keeping quality instruction and looking for kids that fit the Pre-K setting.

Past registration numbers show that while about 2,000 thousand students enroll for kindergarten in the fall, only half that many enroll in Pre-K.

Meanwhile, the debate goes on about the quality of learning in a half-day environment compared to a full day.

Some parents are concerned children won't be learning as much. 

School officials disagree saying it's not the quantity, but the quality of the instruction.

"There is very much that can be learned.  The question is do you serve a few children in full day or serve a lot in a quality half-day program?" District Instructional Officer, Janet Baker, said.

Baker says one of the most powerful things a school district can do is provide early education for their students.

If the numbers are there but not the space, it's important to make the space to take advantage of the opportunity.

The new Pre-K schedule will be two three hour sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Pre-registration is going on from now through the month of July.