At the beginning of this school year (Fall of 2014) the Kent School District will open a new Early Learning Center. Housed temporarily at the former Kent Elementary School, the new Kent Valley Early Learning Center (KVELC) will be accompanied by the new Early Learning Department. Kindergarten and Preschool children will be able to attend this Early Learning Program. This school is anticipated to consist of all Kindergarten classes from both Neely-O'Brien and Kent elementary schools, as well as two Pre-K classes from Kent Elementary.
Although this building will be a temporary location, it is being renovated to meet Kent School District standards. These standards include the areas of operations, safety, play and instruction. There will be technology reconstruction and new classrooms. KVELC will also provide adequate space, which allows the student to teacher ratio to be reduced. According to the Kent School District, the main reason for this change is the challenge of overcrowding. By applying this innovation, they are able to meet the new state standards of 20 students to one teacher.
Children in this Early Learning Program will still be in touch with their neighborhood elementary school. They will still be able to attend special events held at Neely-O'Brien or Kent Elementary (depending on which one is their home school). To avoid the overlapping of events, reading and math nights, PTA events and other similar activities will be organized with the neighborhood elementary schools and KVELC. Once the district obtains funding to build a brand new building, the Early Learning Program will have a permanent home.