The Power of Pre-K

Duplin County Schools is excited to welcome our youngest learners for the 2022-23 school year! Whether you or someone you know has a child that will turn four on or before August 31, 2022, we can’t wait to meet them and count them among our newest blessings in our school family.

Duplin County Schools Pre-K Program is designed to provide age-appropriate, high-quality educational experiences to enhance school readiness for four-year old children. Our Pre-K teachers are certified by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Pre-K teachers and teacher assistants must meet rigorous safety and professional development requirements by the NCDHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education. Curriculum activities are centered around five developmental domains:

  • Approaches to Play and Learning - Preschoolers show interest in learning many things. They ask questions to learn how to do things, how things work, and how they fit into the world around them. Preschoolers use many types of play—building, pretending, exploring—to experiment and solve problems.
  • Emotional and Social Development - Preschoolers are also learning how to get along with others. They begin to understand and talk about “rules” in friendships and can cooperate in play. They can understand their feelings, as well as the feelings of others and show that they care how others feel.
  • Health and Physical Development - Preschoolers are learning to care for themselves. They can feed themselves and dress themselves with assistance with buttons and zippers. They can understand rules about health and safety.
  • Language Development and Communication - Preschoolers use watching, listening, and talking to learn about the world. They begin using longer sentences and including more details in their speaking. Preschoolers ask questions using “Why”, “How”, and “What.” They listen to adults read books and use the pictures to develop meaning. Preschoolers draw pictures as a pre-writing skill and begin to use some letters to write their name. They also begin to connect letters to sounds.
  • Cognitive Development - Preschoolers play, explore, and ask questions to learn. They develop interests in special things (dinosaurs, insects, faraway places, etc.) and new skills (writing their name, building with blocks). Preschoolers use their senses to enjoy art, music, dance, and drama. They can count up to 10 objects and answer the question, “How many?”. They compare sizes, shapes, and amounts of objects.

Special Advisor for Pre-K and Federal Programs Janice Goldsby comments, “While Pre-K is not mandatory, we encourage families to apply. This valuable year prior to entering kindergarten can build the foundation for school readiness, which is a good predictor of future long-term achievement.” Research also suggests that children who attend a high-quality Pre-K program have better attendance, fewer behavior problems, increased chances of reading at grade level by 4th grade, and are more likely to graduate from high school and college.

Duplin County Schools has Pre-K classrooms at each of our elementary schools. Applications are available now. They can be found on the Duplin County Schools website, near the bottom of the homepage under Site Shortcuts, or you may call the elementary school in your attendance zone and ask for the Family Specialist who will assist with the application if needed. Additionally, there will be a Pre-K Application Day at each elementary school on Friday, April 29th, from 8:30am-3:30pm. Along with the completed application, the following documentation is required: a certified copy of birth certificate; insurance or Medicaid card; verification of Duplin County residency; verification of income; and shot records.

Acceptance and wait list letters will be mailed to parents by August 1, 2022.