Prekindergarten applications available
The classes are part of the state's NC Pre-K program and are open to 4-year-olds who meet state eligibility requirements.
Under the state's requirements, children must meet at-risk criteria to enroll in the program.
At-risk criteria include low household income, developmental impairments and other factors.
Children must also be 4 years old by or before Aug. 31.
As part of the application process, parents must provide verification of household income, a copy of the child's certified birth certificate and two documents proving residence in Watauga County.
"We know this program provides great benefits for children and we encourage families of limited means to apply so that their children can take advantage of all that it offers," Watauga County Schools elementary education director Tamara Stamey said.
Prekindergarten classes operate on the same schedule as other classes in the Watauga County schools and children in the program have access to the same school bus service and meal services as other students.
Applications will be available on the parent links page of the WCS website and on request from the WCS central office beginning Monday.
To find the application online, go to http://www.watauga.k12.nc.us, choose the Parent Links heading and then click on "forms, menus & other WCS information."
Applications will be accepted Monday through May 16 and must be returned in person to Renee Battle in the WCS central office during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on weekdays.
Questions about applying for the prekindergarten program may be referred to Battle at (828) 264-7190.
Space in the program is limited and families are encouraged to make alternative child care arrangements in the event their child cannot be enrolled, school officials said.
Parents also need to note that the WCS afterschool program does not serve prekindergarten children, officials said.
There are currently prekindergarten classrooms at Cove Creek, Green Valley, Hardin Park and Parkway schools.
The four classes serve 72 children, about 20 percent of the 4-year-olds in Watauga County.