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Shawnee Mission School District doubles size of pre-K program

MERRIAM, Kan. -- Going to pre-kindergarten is about to get easier for families in one metro school district.

The Shawnee Mission School District is expanding the early education program for families this school year.

Enrollment is happening right now for the pre-kindergarten program, and new this year is their pre-kindergarten program will be offered in 14 elementary schools in the district. That is double the number of locations they offered last year.

The 14 classrooms will be no-fee, half-day program for qualifying families. The classes will meet Monday through Friday.

Two additional schools will offer a tuition-based program for families who do not qualify for the no-fee program. Tuition will be $75 a week. Click here to register.

Money for the pre-kindergarten program comes from a number of places, including grants from the state and Title I funding.

Students must live within school district boundaries and be four years old by August 31st to qualify.

This summer, 300 incoming kindergarten students participated in the "Jump Start to Learning" program. This year a more than $300,000 grant allowed the district to serve more students and expand the program an additional week.

The first day for pre-k students is August 15.

The Raytown School District just started offering a similar program earlier this year. Now families can register for a free pre-kindergarten program. More than 170 seats are available in that program for any student living in the Raytown School District.