Pinellas County Schools Pre-K and VPK programs

VPK, featured

Pinellas County Schools is starting a new, more convenient online application process for Prekindergarten for 3 year olds and Voluntary Prekindergarten. In the past, parents had to visit elementary schools to apply for a seat. March 20-April 9, parents will be able to apply online for Pre-K 3 and VPK for the 2017-18 school year.

Pre-K 3 is for children who will be 3 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2017. For information about Pre-K 3, visit www.pcsb.org/prek3 or call 727-588-6000 ext. 2184.

VPK is for children who will be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2017. For information about VPK, visit www.pcsb.org/vpk or call 727-588-6513.

Please note that the new application process is not in place for Summer VPK. If you are interested in Summer VPK, which runs June 1-July 26, visit www.pcsb.org/summervpk or call 727-588-6513.

VPK, featured

How to register for Pre-K and VPK programs for next school year:

Families interested in VPK will need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (voucher) from the Early Learning Coalition at www.vpkpinellas.net. If you have questions, call 727-400-4411. You will not need a voucher for Pre-K 3.

  1. Get a PCS User ID and Password. Go to any district school with your government-issued ID to obtain a user ID and password (if you don’t have one for another child).

  2. Apply at reservation.pcsb.org March 20-April 9.

  3. Log onto reservation.pcsb.org beginning April 25 to find out if your application was selected.

  4. Enroll at your assigned school April 25-May 9. Bring the required documents listed on the district website.

Why is prekindergarten important?

The early years are a significant time for learning and development. Prekindergarten programs help provide the foundation for healthy development and more advanced learning.

In Pinellas County Schools high-quality prekindergarten programs, children:

  • Develop social and emotional skills

  • Build language, literacy and communication skills

  • Explore math and science

  • Discover the joy of learning

Research shows that early education leads to better outcomes in school and in life. Children who attend high-quality prekindergarten programs are less likely to use special education services or be held back in school. They’re also more likely to graduate, attend college and be successful in their careers.

Pinellas County Schools Pre-K and VPK programs are guided by the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards. They provide a full day of activities in a safe and nurturing environment. Most classes are staffed with a certified teacher.

Onsite before- and after-care is available. Pinellas County Schools programs provide a smooth transition to kindergarten, developing familiarity with the campus and school resources.

What is a typical day like in Pinellas County Schools prekindergarten programs?

Activities include a morning circle, center-time choices, outside play, rest and closing circle. This structure offers children balanced opportunities to learn through play, exploration and real-world experiences. Center-time choices allow children to select activities such as blocks, dramatic play, art, construction toys and science. Outside play offers children time to run, play and extend their learning in the outdoors. Children also participate in physical education classes. Teachers play alongside children to encourage physical, social and cognitive development.

How much do Pinellas County Schools prekindergarten programs cost?

Pre-K 3 — The cost is $75 per week plus a non-refundable registration fee of $90 that is applied to tuition. At select locations, the Pre-K 3 program is supported with Title I funding. Qualifying families at Title I schools do not pay tuition.

VPK Pinellas County Schools VPK program is free for the first three hours of the day. The program can be extended for an additional three hours through a tuition fee of $65 a week and a $78 non-refundable registration fee, which will be applied to the last two weeks’ tuition. The district calls this VPK+3. At select locations, the VPK+3 program is supported with Title I funding. Qualifying families at these schools do not pay tuition.

Get ready for prekindergarten

  • Plan to attend school events to learn more about your child’s prekindergarten program and meet your child’s teacher.

  • Establish a bedtime and morning routine a few weeks before prekindergarten starts.

  • Talk with the school’s nurse if your child has allergies or special medical needs.

  • Visit www.pcsb.org/prek3  or www.pcsb.org/vpk  for child development tips.

  • Read books about preschool.

  • Listen to your child’s concerns.

  • Prepare for a bit of separation anxiety the first few weeks.

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