New Hanover County Schools
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North Carolina Pre-K (NCPK) is a state-funded, community-based voluntary pre-kindergarten initiative designed to prepare eligible four-year olds in North Carolina for school success through high-quality early education. Programs have to meet high quality standards and utilize a specific curriculum to strengthen children’s literacy, math, pre-writing, physical development, and problem solving skills. NCPK, formerly known as More at Four, was established to provide quality early learning experiences for the children in our state who exhibit the most need.

NCPK classrooms are located in public schools, licensed child care centers and Head Start programs in New Hanover County. There are a total of ten pre-k sites serving approximately 525 students. These high quality classrooms have teachers certified in the education of children who are birth-kindergarten age. The student to staff ratio is one adult for every nine students. The maximum class size is 18 students with a teacher and a teacher assistant. Programs have a parent education component that requires attendance at parent workshops and monthly volunteer time in classrooms.


Learning in a Pre-Kindergarten Classroom

The learning that takes place in an NCPK classroom is based on North Carolina’s early learning standards for preschoolers called Foundations. The five areas included in Foundations that are the basis of learning and school readiness are:

  • Approaches to Learning
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Health and Physical Development
  • Language Development and Communication
  • Cognitive Development

Students in pre-kindergarten classrooms have active, center-based environments that encourage them to:

  • Learn about letters, colors, shapes and numbers
  • Learn to develop positive relationships with peers and teachers
  • Listen to stories and learn about books
  • Explore math, science, art, and music
  • Expand language skills
  • Develop a positive sense of self and an enthusiasm for learning
  • Explore and play outside daily