Thursday, April 27, 2006
Holy Family daycare going to K-8 campus
By SUE WATSON
Families with both Pre-K and K-8 children will be able to drop all their children off and pick them up after school at one campus this fall at Holy Family School on North West Street, according to principal Ketia Francis.
There will be space available for about 14 Pre-K3 children and 20 Pre-K4 students, she said.
The moving of Pre-K students to the main campus is designed to be more convenient for parents and also to build programs to foster long-term growth of students, Francis said.
The teacher/student ratio for 3-year-olds will be 1:7 and 1:10 for 4-year-olds. The Pre-K2 will be discontinued next fall.
Children must be either 3 or 4 by September 1, 2006, to fit into the respective classes.
Educational goals and convenience were factors considered in closing the Daycare center beside St. John’s Church.
“We are making it convenient for our parents,” Francis said.
Getting children to the single campus earlier is expected to help structure environment and curriculum to meet the long-term stability needs of Holy Family students.
“It will help us be consistent in structure and programs. The earlier we get them, the better they will be prepared for this environment,” she said.
Holy Family is also moving to a research-based educational strategy as opposed to just child care for Pre-K3 and Pre-K4.
“So this is going to be an educational setting,” she said. “I just want to stress we want to provide a challenging and engaging program for three and four year olds to make sure they attain high-order thinking skills so they will be successful.”
Holy Family has 178 children enrolled in K-8 this year and can take between 215 and 225, she said. The school has extended day schedules. Working parents can arrange to drop children off as early as 6:30 a.m. and pick them up as late as 5:30 p.m.
Both Daycare and K-8 programs are accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
In order to be ready for school this fall, interior renovations and an extra playground for threes’ and fours’ will be added this summer.
This fall children ages three and four will get the extra benefit of enrichment activities such as music, fine arts and religion - activities already available for K-8 grades.
A one-week Fine Arts program - a professional Children’s Theater - is set for next year. Music and keyboard lessons will also be expanded.
Holy Family is accepting applications for teaching staff for the Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 classes until May 15 or until all slots are filled, Francis said. Applicants must meet state teacher certification requirements.
Francis said some scholarships to cover part of tuition fees are given to families based on financial need.
The school is a program of Sacred Heart Missions in Walls, Miss.
The school maintains a portfolio on each student to give to the student after graduation.
The portfolio is useful to show parents how their child is achieving in school and serves as a record to track progress and for the individual students reflection.
Holy Family is proud of its parents who are very involved in their children’s education, Francis said.
“The school environment is very nourishing and our parents are exceptional,” Francis said. “We could not do it without them.”
Students attend public schools or commute to Bishop Byrne to complete high school, she said.
The daycare facility will be used by Catholic Social Services.
Registration for fall classes is ongoing. Parents may visit the campus located at 395 North West Street, Holly Springs, Miss., or call the school at 662-252-1612 to discuss registration needs.
News: (662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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