FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) is excited to welcome its youngest students on Monday as pre-kindergarten students begin their school year.

FWCS said it is celebrating more than 25 years of its pre-K programs being accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The district said over 10,000 students have gone through the pre-K program since the first accreditation in 1995 with nearly 1,000 each year.

This year, FWCS added five new attendance areas (Glenwood Park, Holland, Lincoln, Shambaugh and Washington Center) to those eligible for Title I pre-K.

For the 2021-22 school year, pre-K programs are offered at Abbett, Adams, Bloomingdale, Brentwood (Haley), Fairfield, Forest Park (Glenwood Park), Franke Park, Harrison Hill, Holland (Shambaugh, Washington Center), Indian Village, Lindley, Maplewood, Northcrest (Lincoln), Scott, South Wayne, Study, Washington (Price) and Waynedale elementary schools. Schools serving more than one attendance area are listed with the secondary attendance area in parentheses. The district said pre-K is also offered at two magnet schools, Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center and Whitney Young Early Childhood Center.

FWCS said its pre-K programs are also rated at the highest level – Level 4 – on the Indiana Paths to Quality rating system and are among the first public school programs to participate in the state’s On My Way Pre-K program. The early childhood education experts in FWCS have presented at numerous local, state and national conferences and helped create the Indiana Early Learning Foundations.