Dayton schools looking to improve scores by reaching students earlier

07/14/2015 03:25 PM

DAYTON – The Dayton Independent School District has struggled for years with low test scores in its elementary, middle and high schools, but efforts are underway to change that.

In August, the district will debut an all-day preschool program in an effort to give young Dayton students early childhood learning experiences which, in turn, will hopefully lead to better academic careers for students.

The district has partnered with Covington based non-profit Children, Inc., which has grown to become the largest non-profit provider of child care in the commonwealth.

Brittney Howell, director of Special Education and Early Childhood Learning for Dayton schools said administrators knew that the time to act was now.

“Only 33 percent of our children were ready for kindergarten for the last school year,” Howell said. “Out of the approximately 80 kids that we screened for kindergarten this year, only 44, to be exact, attended our pre-school program.”

Howell says it’s critical that students are given the opportunity to take part in a quality pre-school program because it will go a long way towards that child’s academic success.

“That foundation is critical for success in school,” Howell said. “Not only for kindergarten readiness but for school readiness. Sometimes in Dayton we hope to use most of the time or all of the time in Dayton, pre-school is the first introduction to school.”

Dayton has approximately 915 students enrolled for the 2015/16 school year in grades k-12.


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