The Walton County School District has been awarded a 2021 Georgia School Boards Association’s Leading Edge Award in the area of Early Learning and Student Success. This program aims to highlight school districts that are leading the way in ensuring students are competitive in an ever-changing global market.
WCSD was recognized for offering robust early learning programs that lead to increased student success. Currently, WCSD offers 20 state-funded pre-k classes across nine elementary schools and serves over 440 students. In addition, WCSD has Early Learning Centers at Loganville, Monroe Area and Walnut Grove High Schools. These unique programs serve three and four-year-old students and are directed by certified teachers and paraprofessionals; however, the year-long programs are taught by high school students who have expressed an interest in early learning education. These programs are offered four days a week inside each of WCSD’s high schools and support the education of early learners as well as high school students.
“It is an honor to be recognized by GSBA for leading the way in early childhood education as we believe in supporting a strong academic foundation and improving academic growth for all students prior to entering kindergarten,” said Superintendent Nathan Franklin. “By promoting and offering appropriate, attainable standards for our students at such a young age, we are supporting the WCSD mission of ensuring that ‘each student acquires the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve personal success and enrich the community.’”
WCSD was also recognized for its early intervention program through the Exceptional Education Department. As a part of this program, WCSD conducts screenings for children aged 2-5 who may qualify for the Program for Educating Exceptional Preschoolers (PEEP). WCSD also improves services for young children ages 3-5 by offering monthly developmental screenings and interventions, developmental and speech-language evaluations and the full continuum of special education services including consultation, collaborative instruction, co-taught class settings and separate class settings. To serve the greater Walton County community, WCSD offers monthly developmental, speech-language and hearing/vision screenings to all three- and four-year-olds in the county, not just students.
Franklin continued, “Our team understands and values the importance of supporting early childhood initiatives that address healthy child and family development through various channels. These programs and initiatives are leading the way in our community and continue to have significant positive impacts on student achievement and engagement.”