Preschool Information

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022-2023 school year!

Welcome to Early Learning Programs in Dinwiddie County

Please read the information below and/or view the slides to learn more.

School readiness begins the moment a child enters the world. What happens in the first five years of life sets a child up for academic success throughout the rest of life. Choosing an early childhood program is one of the most important decisions a family can make. We believe every child should have access to a quality preschool experience prior to entering Kindergarten.

Bright Stars

Bright Stars is Dinwiddie County Public Schools’ (DCPS) Four-Year-Old Preschool program that addresses student’s physical, academic, social, and emotional needs at no cost. Bright Stars operates on full day schedule and follows the DCPS calendar. We only offer in-person preschool. The school hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students are provided transportation from designated bus stops determined by the DCPS Transportation Department. Breakfast and Lunch is available. Each classroom has one certified teacher and is supported by one highly qualified paraprofessional. Class sizes are between 18 and 20 students. Parent/Guardian participation is also expected through student conferences, family events, and other forms of communication like email, telephone, Remind, etc.

We have classrooms in four locations:

  • Midway Elementary (5511 Midway Road, Church Road, VA 23833)
  • Southside Elementary (10305 Boydton Plank Road, Dinwiddie, VA 23841)
  • Sutherland Elementary (6000 R.B. Pamplin Drive, Sutherland, Virginia 23885)
  • Sunnyside Elementary (10203 Melvin B. Alsbrooks Avenue, McKenney, VA 23872)

 

Eligibility Requirements for Bright Stars

Bright Stars is funded through the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) grant. Eligibility for participation is based on criteria set by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).

In order for children to participate, they must be four (4) years old by September 30, 2022 and live in Dinwiddie County.

The Bright Stars program is designed for children who have experienced or may be exposed to factors that could negatively impact their school success.

All families are encouraged to apply, but slots will be filled based on student need.

The following criteria is set forth by the VDOE to determine eligibility and includes:

  • The child lives in poverty as evidenced by family income (at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines).
  • The child is homeless, defined as not living in a regular, fixed residence, or sharing housing due to economic hardship.
  • The child’s parents or guardians have a limited education, such as not completing school.
  • The child’s family income is less than 350% of the federal poverty guidelines in the case of a student with special needs or disabilities.

Additional risk factors can be considered when determining eligibility and include:

  • The child is raised by relatives.
  • The child is a foster child.
  • The child lives with a parent who is chronically ill.
  • The child does not speak English.
  • The child has an identified special need or disability.
  • The child’s parent or guardian is incarcerated.
  • The child lives in a single parent home.
  • The child’s parent or guardian is on military deployment.
  • The child’s family has experienced hardship due to Covid-19.

Application Timeline

Applications are being received now through May 1, 2022 for the initial collection. The application window will remain open through the 2022-2023 school year. There are a limited number of slots. All parents/guardians are encouraged to complete the application; however, there is no guarantee that the child will be accepted into the program. It is not first come, first serve. Being accepted into the program is determined by eligibility requirements set forth by the state (VDOE) and local criteria.

Parents/guardians will be notified, via email, if the child is accepted, ineligible, or put on a waitlist by June 1, 2022.

Children who are not accepted into the program, but are found eligible, will be placed on a waitlist. The child’s application is kept on file at the DCPS School Board Office. If a slot becomes available during the school year, applications are reviewed and a child is selected. Parents/guardians will be notified at that time. It is the goal to have all 18 to 20 slots at each location filled throughout the school year.

Head Start: The Improvement Association

The Head Start program is a national child development program in Dinwiddie County led by The Improvement Asssociation for  families of children 3 to 5 years of age who live in Dinwiddie County. Children enrolled in the program receive educational services to help prepare them for kindergarten at no cost. The program promotes comprehensive education, health, nutrition, dental, mental health, social services and parental involvement opportunities. Head Start also operates on full day schedule and follows the DCPS calendar. They only offer in-person preschool. The school hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students are provided transportation from designated bus stops determined by the DCPS Transportation Department. Breakfast and lunch are provided daily free of charge. Each classroom has one  teacher and is supported by one paraprofessional. Class sizes are approximatley 15 to 17 students.

Head Start classrooms are in one location:

Behind Southside Elementary (10305 Boydton Plank Road, Dinwiddie, VA 23841)

Eligibility Requirements for Head Start

Head Start is a national, federally funded, child development program that serves low-income children.

In order for children to participate, they must be three (3) or four (4) years old by September 30, 2022 and live in Dinwiddie County.

The Head Start program is also designed for children who have experienced or may be exposed to factors that could negatively impact their school success.

All families are encouraged to apply, but slots will be filled based on student need. It is not first come, first serve. Being accepted into the program is determined by eligibility requirements set forth by the federal government. Eligibility for participation is based on similiar criteria as the Bright Stars program:
The following criteria is set forth to determine eligibility and includes:
  • The child lives in poverty as evidenced by family income (at or below 130% of federal poverty guidelines).
  • The child is homeless, defined as not living in a regular, fixed residence, or sharing housing due to economic hardship.
  • The child’s parents or guardians have a limited education, such as not completing school.
  • The child’s family income is less than 350% of the federal poverty guidelines in the case of a student with special needs or disabilities.

Application Process for Bright Stars and Head Start

Bright Stars and Head Start work collaboratively to ensure eligble children are identified. Parents/guardians must find out if their child is eligible by completing the application and submitting required documents.

  1. Complete the application below:
    PRESCHOOL ON-LINE APPLICATION FORM.

    • For four (4) year olds: If you are unable to access the online application or need support in completing it, please contact Penny L. Brooks at (804) 469-4190 or email pbrooks@dcpsnet.org.
    • For three (3) year olds:  If you are unable to access the online application or need support in completing it, please contact Tracey Michalek at (804) 469-4495, ext. 209 or email tmichalek@dcpsnet.org.
  2.  Email, fax, or deliver required documents*. The list of required documents can be found below.
    • Email required documents to prekreg@dcpsnet.org by taking a picture of your documents or scanning them and attaching the pictures or files to the email.
    • Fax required documents to (804) 469-4197.
    • Deliver required documents to:
      • For four (4) year olds: Penny L. Brooks, Scool Readiness and Literacy Coordinator, 14016 Boydton Plank Rd., Dinwiddie, VA 23841.
      • For three (3) year olds: Tracey Michalek, Family & Community Partnership Coordinator, 10305 Boydton Plank Road, Dinwiddie, VA 23841 (Behind Southside Elementary).
  3. Participate in a screening interview. You will be contacted to schedule a screening interview. This can take place on the telephone, virtually, or in-person.
  4. Wait for Acceptance. The current anticipated notification of acceptance is May 15, 2022 and will be sent via email.

*Applications received without the proper required documents will not be processed.

Application Submission List

In order to apply for admission, please complete and/or submit the following items no later than May 1, 2022.
  1. Complete the Preschool On-Line Registration Form above.
  2. Birth Certificate: An official certified copy of the child’s birth record must be provided (A photocopy of the child’s birth certificate will not meet this requirement.). Information on obtaining a certified copy of a birth certification is available at the Virginia Department of Health website.
  3. Income Verification* (Please submit one of the following for both working adults in the home.)
    • 2021 Tax Return
    • 2021 W-2
    • Three (3) most recent pay stubs
    • SSI, TANF, SNAP (if applicable)
    • Child Support Documentation (if applicable)

*Note: If you are not currently employed, you will need to complete the Declaration of No Income or No Documentation of Income form.

4. Comprehension Physical Examination & Immunization Record: School Entrance Health Form

5. Proof of Residency in Dinwiddie County*: Proof of Residency Checklist

*Note: If you currently live with someone and do not have a mortgage, lease or deed in your name, you must submit a notarized Proof of Residency Form.

6. Custody Court Order (if applicable)

7. Current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Eligibility Plan (if applicable)
8. Foster Care Plan (if applicable)
For More Information:
If you have any questions about the Bright Stars program or the application process, please contact Penny L. Brooks at (804) 469-4190 or email pbrooks@dcpsnet.org
If you have any questions about the Head Start program or the application process, please contact Tracey Michalek at (804) 469-4495, ext. 209, or email at tmichalek@dcpsnet.org

Additional Early Learning Programs in Dinwiddie County

Dinwiddie County Public Schools works collaboratively with Head Start, day care centers, and family providers throughout the county to strategically offer parents choice when searching for a quality preschool program. Please visit the pages below if interested:

Angels at Play
Child Care, VA
CommonHelp
Stepping Stone Academy
The Greenhouse Day Care Center
Virginia Department of Social Services: Search for Child Day Care