HARDIN COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) - The biggest change for Hardin County schools this year will still be under construction on day one.
"Yes, we have a new elementary school that will open sometime between October 1st and Dec. 30," says Superintendent Teresa Morgan.
Whenever Cecilia Valley elementary school does open all the students from Howevalley move in. About 250 kids from Lakewood and G.C. Burkhead elementary schools will also move to the campus. Though Morgan says none of those children will move until the start of the 2018 school year.
Hardin County is also making more time for preschool this year. A half-million dollars in grants expands all day pre-k to five schools and provides the funding for some new teachers.
School leaders say kids who start behind stay behind, so the 180 spots in the all day pre-k go mainly to those from poorer homes or needing extra help.
"So from the very first day they're starting to recognize the letters in their name. We're counting, sorting activities, everything is hands-on. We use no worksheets in pre-school ever," says pre-k teacher Sara Parker.
Hardin County Schools will also pilot a new program this year at the Early College and Career Center. About 50 16-year-olds will become full time college students for the rest of high school. The early college academy allows juniors to enroll in college classes taught by professors on a block schedule. Those who complete the pilot will graduate high school with an Associates Degree.
Morgan says "We want the program to be successful so we're doing this in a little more controlled way. They will stay in class together and receive extra assistance in what it is to study."
20,000 kids head back to class in Hardin County on Thursday, Aug. 10.
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