Cool Schools: Clinton Park Elementary

Cool Schools

CLINTON, Miss. (WJTV) – Pre-K is an important developmental stage for children.

The Clinton Public School District (CPSD) is getting help from the state to bring Pre-K students with learning differences together, in hopes of making them better people.

CPSD is one of five Mississippi school districts that received a $70,000 grant to add blended Pre-K classrooms.

“The purpose of the grant was to increase that integration throughout the state. And so they are trying through the grant funds to have more school participate,” Principal Kelli Pope said.

Entering the two Pre-K classrooms at Clinton Park Elementary, you only see a group of 4-year-olds having fun while learning. But the reality is that some of the students are special needs.

The district already integrates special needs students with general education students in kindergarten, and 1st grade. 

“They may not hold their pencil like them. They may not walk like them. They may not talk like them. And that’s okay, because that’s what we want our students to learn early,” said Dee Dee Keith, a special needs teacher.

Each classroom has a special education teacher, a general education teacher, and an assistant. They all work together to service kids with mixed learning needs.

“I do know what their strengths and weaknesses are. But I just try to build on those strengths, and then I think the children’s interactions will strengthen the weaknesses together,” said Tammy Aden, a general education teacher.

The goal is to eventually remove the special needs label from those students with delayed learning abilities. Educators believe this program will help that process move faster.

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If you know of a school doing something cool, nominate them for our “cool schools” segment. Every week we’ll highlight a local school. Send an e-mail to coolschools@wjtv.com with your ideas.

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