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First Step Program
The NNPS First Step Preschool is designed to help four year old learners gain an understanding of their world through joyful, developmentally-appropriate experiences. Literacy instruction follows a continuum that builds on the child’s need to communicate through meaningful and authentic activities in oral language, reading, and writing. Our students gain mathematics concepts through questioning, problem solving, persistence, and communication. Units of study based on science and social studies concepts provide opportunities for students to understand themselves, friends, families, communities, and the larger world in which they live through inquiry and daily experiences. Students have daily art, music, and physical activities to develop the whole child.
First Step is a voluntary program which provides innovative early childhood instruction for 4 and 5 year olds. Download "First Step Facts."
- All First Step Early Childhood Centers host a full day program, using the same curriculum, materials, and instructional strategies.
- School assignments must be based on the home address of the child's parent/legal guardian.
- A teacher and an instructional assistant have about 18 children in each class.
- Workshops and activities for parents are an important part of the program.
- The program is free.
- Transportation is provided to and from school, based on the home address of the child's parent/legal guardian.
- First Step students enter kindergarten the following school year.
To be eligible for the 2013 - 2014 First Step program:
The child must live in a Newport News Public School zone.
The child’s birthday must be between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. Children born between October 1, 2007 and September 30, 2008 are eligible to participate this school year. Based on available space, children are accepted into the program until March 31st.
Your child must be completely toilet trained.
- A preschool screening through the NNPS First Step Office is required. The preschool screening provides information that sorts students based on school readiness factors. First Step Preschool accepts students with the greatest academic need first, and then continues to accept children in ranked order until all spaces are filled. Students who meet at least one of the following criteria are given priority on the ranking list:
- Have their 5th birthday in October, November or December and, therefore, are not eligible for kindergarten.
Within 90 days of screening, parents are notified by letter regarding their child’s acceptance into the program, or whether the child has been placed on the Waiting List for the zoned school. This letter will describe the process and documents required for registration. It is important that the First Step Office have the most current address and phone number on file. Please call 283-7788, ext. 12183, if contact information changes.
If accepted in the program, the child will be assigned to his/her zoned First Step center. School assignments are based solely on the home address of the child's parent/legal guardian.
Click here to find your zoned preschool program.
The First Step Early Childhood Centers are:
- Denbigh Early Childhood Center
- Lee Hall Early Childhood Center
- Marshall Early Childhood Center
- Watkins Early Childhood Center
Sites/school assignments may not be the same each year.
Parents play an important part in First Step. If a child is accepted in the program, the parents must:
- Complete the registration process as scheduled in the registration letter.
- Have a responsible person pick up the child at school, or meet the school bus on time every day.
- Participate in parent meetings when requested.
- Make sure the child wears the supplied name tag each day.