FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For the first time in the school district’s history, all children living within district limits have access to pre-K through Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Starting Oct. 17, FWCS is offering full-day programs at Harris Elementary and St. Joseph Central Elementary, according to a release. The district also has full-day and half-day pre-K programs at neighborhood schools throughout the city.

Katie Ziegler, pre-K Coordinator at FWCS, said research shows that children need a good start to their educational career.

“They’re learning how school works,” Ziegler said, “They’re learning all those good social skills, getting along with others sharing taking turns, as well as the academic skills, early literacy, early numeracy, social emotional skills.”

The pre-K programs are also free to families, due to the district receiving a slight increase in the federal Title I grant.

“We’ve grown our programs over the past 25 years, but we’ve always been limited because of the funding source that we’ve had,” Kimberly Brooks, Title I Director said, “And we believe that all children are entitled to a good start and we’re just happy that now we’re able to provide that for them, that they have the access to our program.”

Eligibility for neighborhood school pre-K programs is based on:  

  • Age: Children must have been 4 but not yet 5 years old on or before Aug. 1, 2023, to be eligible to attend pre-K during the 2023-24 school year 
  • Address: Fort Wayne Community Schools offer both full-day and half-day pre-K programs for children living within the boundaries of FWCS elementary schools.   

Parents who want more information about pre-K registration can call pre-K coordinator Katie Ziegler at 260-467-2850. The release said there is limited space available.

Families can learn more on the district’s website.