• Supplemental At-Home Kindergarten Readiness Program 

    COVID-19 prompted much-needed federal funding to schools across the nation. In addition to regular preschool offerings, Columbus City Schools is using some of that money to provide an early education option to 4-year-old students who are not attending in-person classes. Research shows that children who begin school unprepared for kindergarten are likely to stay behind academically. That is not equitable education, and it’s why CCS has partnered with the education nonprofit Waterford.org to provide the at-home, online Waterford Upstart program to students across the school system at no cost to the district’s families.

    The Distrcit recognizes families across Columbus may not be able to enroll their children in an in-person pre-k classroom, whether from a lack of transportation or fears from COVID. An at-home solution like Waterford Upstart has proven to be not only effective for educating our youngest learners but also a necessity for many families. The online kindergarten readiness program meets families where they are, so they can feel confident their children will walk into their first day of kindergarten prepared and ready to learn.

    CCS is still accepting applications for its high-quality, tuition-free early childhood program. The District’s in-person pre-kindergarten classrooms are led by licensed, qualified educators, and the five-day program also provides free breakfast and lunch for students. Waterford Upstart is not meant to replace the robust preschool program CCS offers; rather, it is a supplement for families in need. Waterford Upstart begins Oct. 4 and runs through May 2022. Families needing a computer or internet access will have that provided at no cost when they apply at Waterford.org/upstart.