State Board of Education approves Jefferson County School District as one of five new Early Learning Collaboratives

ELC Photo



For Immediate Release: August 18, 2022

State Board of Education approves Jefferson County School District as one of five new Early Learning Collaboratives 
FAYETTE, Miss. – The State Board of Education approved Jefferson County School District (JCSD) as an Early Learning Collaborative (ELC).  As a result, JCSD joins a distinct group of 35 districts that will provide high-quality early childhood education pre-K programs to 4-year-old students.
Jefferson County School District is partnering with Mississippi Action For Progress (MAP) and Step by Step Kinder Academy to expand pre-K classes offered in Jefferson County.  The grant will serve to enhance the current two classes offered at Jefferson County Elementary School and allow the ELC to add two new pre-K classes.  Additionally, the grant will enable the ELC to increase the number of students enrolled in the Step by Step Kinder Academy's pre-K class. 
"We are ecstatic to have an opportunity to enhance and expand our pre-K classes," said Adrian Hammitte, superintendent.  "We are also thrilled to collaborate with MAP and Step by Step on such a critical initiative.  We already have a strong pre-K program, but this grant allows us to make it even stronger while also doubling the number of pre-K students."  
ELCs across the state have experienced great success in preparing preschoolers for kindergarten.  State testing data shows that students participating in the ELCs tend to outperform their peers.  Research also suggests that high-quality pre-K programs can boost reading and math scores.    
The Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013 established the ELC program, which provides funding to local communities to establish, expand, support, and facilitate the successful implementation of quality pre-K early childhood education and development services.  The main goal of establishing ELCs is to better prepare preschoolers for kindergarten.