Lexington-Richland School District Five is currently accepting applications for its tuition-based 4-year-old kindergarten program.

The School District Five EXCEL (Exposing Children to Early Learning) 4K program is open to families residing in the School District Five attendance zone. The program has two locations to serve students from across School District Five. Parents can choose either the Irmo Elementary School or River Springs Elementary School site.

Applications for the first-come, first-serve program are currently being accepted. Families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as this high quality program reaches capacity very quickly. Potential students must be 4-years-old on or before Sept. 1, 2019.

“Our EXCEL program is a great option for families looking for high quality 4-year-old kindergarten offerings,” said Tina McCaskill, director of elementary education for the district. “The program at our two schools offer our 4-year-old students an educational experience that includes standards-based curriculum, ability-based instruction and special area classes all taught by certified teachers. It’s a great continuation of our efforts to make sure our community’s needs are met and students achieve success throughout their academic careers.”

Irmo Elementary School Principal Shannon Wiley said, “EXCEL 4K really is about getting students socially and emotionally prepared for school. Students and parents leave the program more confident and ready for their first day of kindergarten.”

River Springs Elementary School began offering EXCEL in 2016. Principal Melanie Cohen said, “Our EXCEL program has been an excellent addition to the instructional program at River Springs. The program has attracted many families to our school from throughout School District Five and we are excited to welcome our next class of EXCEL families for the 2019-2020 school year.”

School officials say tuition-based programs like EXCEL provide an option for students who do not meet the criteria for the district’s needs-based pre-K program. At a cost of $150 weekly, EXCEL is a self-sufficient program. No state or local funding is used; and tuition covers the cost of its teachers, operations and other expenses. Afterschool care is available at both school sites. Screening is not required for the EXCEL 4K program, and parents must provide transportation for students.

“We are fortunate in School District Five to have great options for 4-year-old kindergarten,” said Chief Instructional Officer Michael Guliano. “Our tuition-based program gives families the option to start their students a year early and tap all the resources available through School District Five. We are thrilled to continue offering the EXCEL program at Irmo Elementary and River Springs Elementary and seeing all the benefits of 4K for our young scholars.”

To apply, parents must call or visit either Irmo Elementary School (7401 Gibbes Street, Irmo, SC 29063) or River Springs Elementary School (115 Connie Wright Road, Irmo, SC 29063). For more information about School District Five’s EXCEL tuition-based 4K program, call Irmo Elementary School at 476-4200 or River Springs Elementary School at 476-4400.

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