Houston County Schools preparing for possible surge of kindergarteners

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Nationwide, public school enrollment tumbled last fall due to the pandemic with the sharpest drop taking place in the kindergarten area.

“We were down some not a great dip but we were down but that was pretty much understood due to the situation with covid but now our registration is running pretty good,” said Greg Yance, Houston County Schools Elementary Curriculum Supervisor.

This fall, there could be a surge of kindergartners making it one of the largest classes ever as enrollment rebounds following the pandemic.

“Certainly, believe that’s a good possibility one community in our county Cottonwood has seen a pretty good little increase in our kindergarten registration,” Yance said. “Across the other schools in our county so far I wouldn’t say we have seen very much of an increase just very slight.”

In fact, the Houston County Schools system has hired additional kindergarten through 3rd-grade teachers with their ESSER funds. Also, they are working to make sure teachers have small classrooms.

Yance says there will be some learning gaps when students fully return to school, but they have plans in place to make sure students are caught up.

“We test the students, benchmark test the students we know where they are academically,” He said. “Then we do prescriptive things with our computer-based instruction and also with the teachers with their teachings to the students, so I think we will be able to do very well with our incoming kindergarteners.”

Yance said Houston County Schools are going to do their best to make sure the effects don’t leak over into years to come.

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