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Powers Elementary 4K teacher Beth Towns leads her class in a reading lesson Friday. The Beloit Turner School District is preparing to offer all-day 4K next school year.

BELOIT

The Beloit Turner School District is preparing to offer all-day 4K classes next year.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for the community," said Beth Towns, a 4K teacher at Powers Elementary, where classes will be held. "I’m really excited for the added academic instruction and opportunity for more social interaction and play-based learning throughout our program.”

Powers Principal Victoria Smith said the district expects to have 80 students enrolled in all-day 4K this fall, which is on par with enrollment in past years.

The open-enrollment window runs through April 30. Families who wish to preregister their children for 4K this fall can call the school office, Smith said.

The district will have final enrollment numbers by the end of July. Depending on those, Powers will offer either four or five sections of 4K.

The district is in the process of hiring two additional 4K teachers, Smith said.

Powers Elementary has offered all-day 5-year-old kindergarten classes since 1999. The expansion to all-day 4K hopefully will give parents more flexibility in their work schedules and result in more students at school, Smith said.

The school started offering half-day 4K in the 2008-09 school year.

If some parents wish to enroll their children in half-day 4K instead of the new all-day programs, Smith said staff will work with those families to start with half days and gradually move up to full days. 

Towns said she is looking forward to adding more literacy and math lessons for young students. She also plans to focus on sensory learning and reinforcing fine motor skills, social skills and sharing.

Children who attend 4K classes develop independence, confidence and organizational skills and are well-prepared to start regular kindergarten, Towns said.

“I’m really glad that it’s happening. I’ve been looking forward to it for a few years as we’ve been working through things and going through the planning stages,” she said. “It’s an exciting change that’s happening at Powers Elementary School and in the Turner School District.”

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