Newton Pre-K registration starts next week

COVINGTON -- Parents who want a chance to have their children in a prekindergarten program in the Newton County School System can register them next week.

NCSS will hold registration for the system's Georgia lottery funded pre-k programs from Monday through Friday at the elementary school the child is zoned to attend next school year.

Registration times are from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

NCSS has 586 pre-k slots available for the 2012-13 school year. Slots range from 22 to 58 slots at most of the elementary schools; no slots are available at the Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, and Porterdale Elementary has 44, with 22 being housed at the adjacent Newton College & Career Academy building.

Parents or legal guardians are the only ones who can register children, who must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1.

At registration, parents must provide the child's birth certificate and Social Security card, along with two health forms -- immunization record 3231 and eye, ear and dental screening form 3300 if the child has reached 4 years old. They are both available from the child's doctor or the Newton County Health Department.

They also must present two proofs of residence -- an electric, gas, garbage or water bill in the name of the person enrolling the child and a current lease, rental agreement or mortgage statement from the purchase of a home.

Schools will not accept telephone bills, mortgage payment books, post office addresses, car licenses, credit cards or Medicaid cards as proof of residence, according to system officials.

If the child and parent live with someone else and don't have a proof of address in their name, they also must provide a statement of legal residence or a signed and notarized affidavit, along with two proofs of residence in the name of the person who owns the property. An affidavit is available at the Newton County Board of Education on Newton Drive or from the elementary schools.

A notary will be available at registration free of charge. For those who choose to have paperwork notarized using the notary, the person who owns the property must be present with the two proofs of residence.

If the child does not live with one or both parents, guardianship or custody documents also must be presented.

Children will not considered for the program until all required documents are submitted, school system officials said.

Registration does not guarantee children a slot in the prek program, according to system officials.

Once registration has concluded, students with all documents submitted will have their names placed in a lottery drawing for their school zone for possible selection.

The lottery is scheduled for March 9 at each school.

"Parents who attend the lottery will be notified immediately," said Ken Proctor, executive director for Elementary Education at NCSS. "Parents who don't attend will be sent letters via the U.S. mail."

He said the letters will be mailed no later than March 16.

Once all slots are filled, the remaining names will be placed on a waiting list in the order they were drawn during the lottery process and called if and when spaces become available.

Applications and other required documents may be downloaded from the prek department page on NCSS website, www.newtoncountyschools.org.

More information about the prek program is available by calling 7707871330, ext. 1262.