Back to school: big changes to Paducah Independent Schools

For many low income families, the head start program helps make sure their children don’t fall behind when it’s their time to start school.

From mental health to social skills, Paducah Independent Schools serves more than 250 kids every year.

The Cooper Whiteside building on South 6th Street is their new head start headquarters. Preschoolers from Morgan, McNabb, and Clark Elementary will get on a bus to one location this year.

To make room for them, students at Choices Alternative School will have no class at the Paducah Area Technology Center.

The district calls the relocation a win-win.

Kristy Lewis’ job is all about children and families as Director of Paducah Head Start. Weeks before it opens, Kristy Lewis gave little Kyler the first tour of his new classroom.

She hopes moving them together will promote more parent involvement. More space leaves more room for expansion, gives the children a gymnasium and library, and will include smaller class sizes.

Clinical counselor, Jennifer Villareal, believes it’s a good idea to enroll your child in an early program like head start. “They’re not going to be struggling so much, trying to learn in kindergarten, because they’ve already been exposed to this stuff while in head start,” she said.

Director of pupil personnel and facilities manager, Troy Brock, says moving the alternative school students will give them more vocational options and ultimately give them incentive to get back into their prospective schools. “It will help them become college and career ready, whether that’s welding, ROTC,” he added.

Villareal believes bringing them near the high school will help. “It could potentially give them more of a sense of belonging. If they’re not so isolated that they’re so far away from the culture of being at school.”

The project, totally $80,000 for the district and $250,000 from their head start funding, put them one step closer to their mission: to know every child by ever name and need.

Lewis says the new head start facility will be ready to go on September 6th. “We are ready to start serving children and families here in Paducah city.”

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