By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District will soon offer an extended day at its school for 4-year-olds.
Beginning in August, students at the Early Childhood Education Center will be able to remain there from the school’s 2:30 p.m. dismissal until 5. Participation will cost parents about $100 a month, said Assistant Superintendent Kim Britton, although details still are being finalized.
“We want as many children as possible to go to ECEC,” Britton said. “We don’t want anyone to have something like dismissal time hinder them from placing their children in that learning environment. We want this option for parents who work.”
Students will be involved in “focused play” during the extended time, Britton said. That could include learning centers or various activities. They also will receive a snack.
“They will not just sit around and watch TV or run around,” she said. “…We are not offering a baby-sitting service. We’re offering time for them to continue to learn and play after the school day is over and while parents are at work.”
The school currently has 260 students after adding a new class of 20 students in December. It is exploring plans to further expand in the near future.
The district plans to offer the extended day to 30 students on a first-come, first-served basis and to hire and train three additional staff members to supervise the extra time. That could be expanded if there is significantly greater demand.
Class begins at the school at 7:30 a.m. Extended hours will not be added to the beginning of the day.