Fund Explorer Academy Pre-K (WV)

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Explorer Academy in Huntington, WV, is a public elementary school that follows the Expeditionary Learning (or EL) curriculum model.  The school is a Title I school, meaning over 40% of the student body lives below the poverty line, with over 400 students from Pre-K through 5th grade.

The school currently has four Kindergarten classrooms but only ONE Pre-K classroom that can accommodate 20 students.  For the 2018-2019 school year, over 40 students enrolled at Explorer Academy for Pre-K.   However, because the school currently only hosts one classroom, more than half of those who enrolled will not receive a spot.  Instead, families will be redirected to an off-site Pre-K hosted by a daycare facility or to delay admission until Kindergarten.

The curriculum at Explorer Academy is NOT the same that would be offered through off-site daycares.  The Expeditionary Learning model is a holistic and award-winning curriculum and the school's staff has completed extensive additional training to implement EL concepts.  The New York Dept. of Education has recognized it as "the highest quality curriculum...currently available."

Early childhood learning plays a significant role in lifelong learning and potential for success.  Pre-K success leads to Kindergarten readiness, higher test scores, and lower rates of grade repetition.  Statistically, 1st grade has the highest rate of grade retention.

Starting the learning process with one curriculum model, only to move to a completely different and more complex learning model breaks learning continuity and fosters regression and lack of retention of academic concepts.

Explorer Academy already has the physical space and essentials to facilitate one more Pre-K classroom with 20 additional students.  The school and staff have asked the County to offer at least one more classroom for the past three years but have been repeatedly denied.

There is a clear and defined need for an additional Pre-K classroom at Explorer Academy, which should be available to those families that live in district and whose students will follow the Expeditionary Learning model for grades K-5, and will then move to Huntington East Middle School, which also implements Expeditionary Learning concepts in core subjects including reading and math.

The research is clear: Pre-K is vital to a child's foundational success and Kindergarten readiness.  Cabell County students deserve that opportunity at a school within their district.

Please fund a second Pre-K classroom for Explorer Academy beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.

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