All Beach VPK Will Relocate to Arnold Next Year - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

All Beach VPK Will Relocate to Arnold Next Year

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In an effort to make more space at the over crowded elementary schools on the beach, the Bay District School Board is moving all the Voluntary Pre-K units on the beach to one location.

Last year, the Voluntary Pre-K program from Breakfast Point Academy relocated to Arnold High School, joining the long time running Head Start Program. A situation that has worked nicely according to Arnold High School Principal Keith Bland.

"It's a kind of unique mix," says Bland. "It's good because our high school kids respect that we have small ones on campus."

And according to Bland, there's very little interaction between the different age groups.

"[The VPK have] a separate drop off, separate pick up, even separate areas for the cafeteria. They eat in the faculty lounge area. There's really very little mingling with the high school students unless they're in our Child Development Academy, then those students are working with our VPK students.

With a need to make more space at the over-populated elementary schools on the beach, next year all beach VPK units will be relocated to Arnold High School, something School Board member Steve Moss says should help

"It will at least free up five to six different class rooms at those different schools," says Moss. "They desperately need that room because all of our elementary schools now over 90 percent capacity here on the beach."

While having 4 year olds and 18 year olds on the same campus is a unique situation, it's a solution that allows the VPK program to continue.

"In a perfect world, I would really love to keep those VPK units at those elementary schools, but the problem is those elementary schools are simply busting at the seams. They don't have the room, so we don't want to cut VPK instead move it here because Arnold does have the room," says Moss. 

The classrooms that will be used for VPK at Arnold will be renovated as soon as school gets out.