Shelby Elementary to receive second First Class Pre-K Classroom

Published 11:15 am Monday, July 10, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

SHELBY – Shelby Elementary School has announced that they are adding a second First Class Pre-K classroom to their school. This addition will bring the total number of First Class Pre-K classrooms in Shelby County up to seven.

The First Class Pre-K Program provides additional funding to Pre-K classrooms throughout the state of Alabama. These funds can potentially be as much as $125,000 per year, and while these funds are not expected to fully fund a classroom or a teacher’s salary, they are used to help create a high-quality learning environment in currently existing classrooms by providing the funding and support to achieve high quality standards.  This can include additional curriculum, field trips, additional staff and other resources.

This partially state funded program has been awarded the highest quality rating by the National Institute for Early Education for the past fourteen years.

Currently the five elementary schools that offer First Class Pre-K Classrooms are:

  • Inverness Elementary
  • Oak Mountain Elementary
  • Shelby Elementary
  • Vincent Elementary
  • Wilsonville Elementary

Each First-Class Pre-K classroom only has 18 slots, and online pre-registration for one of these seats opens on January 15 at After pre-registration has ended, a public drawing will randomly determine which children will be admitted into the program. All names will be drawn to help determine a waiting list should any child not wish to attend the program or drops out.

Currently, the program is offered in 65 counties throughout the state of Alabama and is utilized by both public and independent schools. Back in June, Gov.Kay Ivey announced her intention to expand the program further, by adding an additional 69 classrooms in 30 counties this fall with the hope of reducing the number of children on waitlists by 1,200.