Families encouraged to sign up for pre-K during Round-Up Week

DALLAS— The Dallas Independent School District (ISD) will host its second district-wide Pre-kindergarten Round-Up Week from April 6-10 to encourage eligible families to register for the district’s free preschool program. Throughout the week, families may sign up for pre-K at any Dallas ISD elementary school during specified hours.

Dallas ISD is making a concerted effort to raise awareness of its high-quality preschool program offered at district elementary schools. Last year, an estimated 37,300 eligible children did not take advantage of the free early education, which is designed to support students’ intellectual, physiological, social and emotional development with a focus on language and literacy skills.

Research shows 85 percent of brain development occurs by age of five, and early childhood educational programs have a tremendous impact on a child’s future. At-risk children who don’t receive a high-quality pre-school education are 60 percent less likely to attend college. They also have higher dropout and teen pregnancy rates.

Alan Cohen, Dallas ISD’s Executive Director of Early Childhood Education, stressed these statistics as nearly 40 percent of Dallas children are growing up in poverty, the highest rate for a city with at least one million residents.

“Our goal is to have every child in the DISD area register for pre-K so we can positively influence their lives at this crucial window of opportunity. The long-term impacts are startling – overall improved school performance and higher math and language abilities, as well as significant emotional and social advantages,” stated Cohen.

Children who live in Dallas ISD and will be four years old by Sept. 1, 2015 may be eligible for the pre-K program if they are:
Unable to speak and understand the English language;
A member of a low-income family (eligible to participate in free/reduced lunch program);
A child of a U.S. armed forces member
A child is or has ever been in state foster care; or
Currently homeless.

For more information on the registration process, locations and documentation needed to confirm eligibility, contact your nearest Dallas ISD elementary school or visit dallasisd.org/prek.

The Dallas Independent School District is continually preparing its more than 160,000 students for college or a career. Through our Destination 2020 effort, we’ll invest in our people, focus more on the classroom, strengthen our systems and engage the community. To learn more, visit dallasisd.org.