Most of JCPS went back to school a few weeks ago, but yesterday was a super big day for the district's youngest learners.
"Busy! It's like being on a fast train, from the time they walk in to the time they leave, we are at a fast pace," says Sharon Fragier, who has been teaching Pre-K for 15 years. "My favorite part about this age group is that I am the beginning. I have the opportunity to get them ready for their future when it comes to education."
Fragier says she starts by working on social motion. "Because if they can't control themselves, if they can't control their feelings, it's hard for them to learn. Once we have that, we go into mathematics, we go into literacy, language, art, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, because without fine motor skills it's hard for them to write," she says.
The first day of Preschool always comes with some tears, some from students and even more from parents.
"Relax, your baby is going to be fine. Give us two days and they'll be coming home singing a song. They'll be coming home spelling words from our word wall. They'll be coming home saying 'Mom, when am I going back to school? I'm ready,'" Fragier says.
Early education at JCPS continues to develop. Each year young students learn more and more.
"The research tells us that the brain development is at its highest during those times, so we need to take advantage of that early learning period for kids, and that's why early childhood education is so important," says Rina Gratz, the Director of Early Childhood Programs at JCPS. She says they want to make sure their students' education starts with a strong foundation.
"We hope that they have a good sense of who they are as individuals, to know that they are cared for and that this is a safe environment for them, and that learning is actually fun, that learning is something they're going to be doing for the rest of their lives, not just in school," she says.
There's an entire team of teachers and helpers making sure each student gets the start they deserve.
"We're serious about what we do, and not only are we serious, but we're good at what we do. So, when your child comes into this, into any early childhood classroom, you can believe that when they leave out of that school, they are ready. They are not only ready for kindergarten, but they're ready for life, because we are the beginning," Gratz says.