Who is eligible for prekindergarten programs? Depending on the program, children must be either three OR four on or before August 31, and reside in Topeka Public Schools attendance area.
What prekindergarten programs are available in Topeka Public Schools?
There are THREE programs that serve three and/or four year old children.
Sheldon Head Start serves three and four year old children in one building located at 1155 SW Seabrook. Eligibility is based on income and they serve 221 children.
Preschool Intervention Program serves three and four year old children in 10 elementary schools. Eligibility is based on a child having an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Peer models are also accepted, after being screened. You can schedule a screening by calling (785) 235-7261. PIP serves approximately 260 children within Topeka Public Schools.
State Pre-K serves four year olds only. Eligibility is based on meeting one or more of these qualifiers: teen parent, free or reduced lunch, one or both parents without a high school diploma or GED, single parent, speak English as a second language, migrant, or developmental delay. State Pre-K serves 200 children in nine elementary schools and at Pine Ridge Prep.
Scott Dual Language Pre-K is unique because it is part State Pre-K, with some slots reserved for families without qualifiers. The expectation for your family, if you choose to submit an application to Scott, is that your child will attend Pre-K-5th grade, and exit the program being bilingual, bicultural, and bi-literate. Scott Dual Language Pre-K serves four year olds only.
Is transportation provided?
This depends on the program your child attends. At Sheldon, parents must apply for transportation. In some cases, PIP children may ride a bus. State Pre-K does NOT provide transportation.
If I work for Topeka Public Schools, will my child receive preference?
Your child must meet eligibility requirements AND live in the Topeka Public Schools attendance area. Children with the highest needs are given priority.
If an older sibling attends the same school, will my child receive preference?
Once eligibility criteria is established, preference is given to children whose older sibling attends the same school. Children with the highest needs are given priority.
I just moved to Topeka and I missed the 2017 prekindergarten application dates. Now what do I do?
You can schedule an appointment by calling one of these numbers:
Sheldon Head Start: (785) 438-4559
Preschool Intervention Program: (785) 235-7261
State Pre-K: (785) 783-7418
Scott Dual Language: (785) 235-7480
Community Action Head Start: (785) 266-0245
What hours will my child attend pre-K?
This varies by program. PIP children attend half day. Morning session runs 8:20-11:20 and afternoon runs 12:40-3:40. Sheldon students attend all day 9:15-4:15. State Pre-K students attend all day 8:40-3:40.
Do I have to submit my application online?
If you prefer to submit a paper application, you can contact one of the numbers listed on p.2 to schedule an appointment so staff may assist you.
If I have more than one prekindergarten child, do I have to submit an application for each child?
Yes. We need information for each child.
How long will it take before I know if my child has received placement in a prekindergarten program?
For families that submit applications in February or March, you will receive a postcard no later than the first week in June. For those that apply after March, notification will occur sometime in July.
What documents should I be prepared to provide?
Documents needed will depend on the program your child attends, but if you want to be prepared, gather the following documents in advance: child’s legal birth certificate, copy of child’s social security card, 2016 tax return, W-2 form or 12 months of check stubs, shot record, and current physical. Additional forms may be required.
How much do prekindergarten programs cost?
This depends on the program. There are no fees at Sheldon Head Start. Children who attend prekindergarten in an elementary building will pay a book fee and may pay reduced or full pay lunch, depending on income.
How long will my child stay on a wait list?
If a vacancy occurs, you will be contacted based on where you are on the wait list.
Is my child guaranteed a spot if an older sibling attended a prekindergarten program?
No. Each year, students must qualify. Having an older sibling attend the same program is not a qualifier.
Which Head Start Program should my child attend?
Topeka Public Schools Sheldon Head Start serves families west of Indiana and in southwest Topeka. Community Action Head Start serves families east of Indiana and in north Topeka.
What do children learn in pre-K?
Pre-K programs all use the same curriculum. Scholastic Big Day addresses letter sounds, letter recognition, and print awareness. Everyday Math addresses counting, number recognition, the concept of how many, and patterns. Handwriting Without Tears helps children with alphabet recognition by tracing letters, making letters with wood pieces, all while improving fine motor skills.
How will I know if my child is learning?
Children’s progress is monitored fall, winter, and spring through the Preschool Monitoring System. Results are shared with families during fall and spring conferences.