School Readiness (Pre-K)

Pre-K Application for 2020-2021 is extended until May 31.

The School Readiness Department works to ensure that Pre-Kindergarten students have access to a high-quality, developmentally appropriate learning environment to prepare them for school success.  Each class' climate will assure individualized learning that supports diversity, curiosity and self-regulation.  The children in the Pre-K programs play, create, explore, learn and succeed.   The Pre-K programs are aligned to meet and exceed the ten Quality Indicator Benchmarks as defined by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER).  The curriculum used is research-based and aligned with state and national standards.  The program requirements are built on the premise that to be successful, academically, in school, children need to be prepared in all five of the following developmental domains: 
  • Approach to play and learning
  • Emotional and social development
  • Health and physical development
  • Language development and communication
  • Cognitive development

For information other than what is listed below, please visit our Pre-K FAQ page.

School Readiness Director:

Helen Scott

Pre-K Information
Pre-K Tuition Information

Appendix B: 2019-2020 Sliding Fee Scale for the First Class Pre-K Program

Based on the Annual 2019 Health & Human Services Poverty Guidelines/Federal Poverty Levels for the 48 Contiguous States and D.C.

Household/Family Size100%200%300%400%

*Add $4,320 for each person over 8

PercentageParent Fees Not to Exceed
Pre-K Application
Students holding hands in front of a rainbow, HCS Pre-Kindergarten Text

Children must be four years of age on or before September 1st, 2020. Copies of the following documents are required age verification document (such as, birth certificates, passports, official medical documents, official documents from other countries, divorce decree or adoption papers), immunization card, and two proofs of residence. Please view the Pre-K FAQ for more details.

Reminder: This is only an application for the Pre-Kindergarten program, NOT registration.  Applying for Pre-K does not guarantee placement into the program.

The 2020 - 2021 HCS Pre-K application requires TWO steps this year. In order to qualify, if selected, you MUST complete both applications from the links listed below.

  1. Completion of the Huntsville City Schools Pre-Kindergarten Application (Opens March 9th, 2020 at 8:00am)
    1. The application for AAA and ASFL has already taken place. This application is for non-magnet schools only.
  2. Completion of the Alabama First Class Pre-K Online Application

Both applications are required to be completed in order for your child/children to be considered as applicants for the 2020-2021 school year.

Pre-K School Supplies List

(Please feel free to donate additional items to the classroom at your own will.)

  • Cloth mat with cover attached (please, no plastic mats)
  • Complete change of clothes (pants, shirt, socks, and underwear)
  • Backpack (large enough for a binder)
  • 2 boxes of Kleenex
  • 1 bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Container of Lysol wipes
Pre-K "Meet the Teacher"

 "Meet the Teacher" will take place if your child is selected for the Pre-Kindergarten (Parents and selected Pre-K children should attend the session that best meets the parents'/teachers' schedules.)

LENA Start™ Information
LENA Start™ / Smarter Happier Baby / Huntsville Speaks Up

Powered by the LENA Research Foundation

Raise a Smarter, Happier Baby!

Free classes for parents of babies 0-30 months

  • Registration now open for Spring Session beginning in April 2020
  • Location: Academy for Science and Foreign Languague (ASFL)
  • Contact us by email at or call our office at (256) 428-6886.

LENA Start sessions give you:

  • Ten FREE 1-hour group sessions
  • Technology to help you measure talk
  • Childcare during sessions
  • Sessions in Spanish or English
  • All materials, including free books
  • Family meals provided
  • Guaranteed slot in HCS Pre-K upon completion (must live within the Huntsville City Schools zones upon age requirement)

LENA Start helps parents of infants and toddlers (0-30 months) close the "talk gap" to build their babies' brains, improve their social and emotional wellbeing, and make them more prepared for school and for life.  It does that through a short series of instructional meetings where parents learn to use the LENA System to monitor the home language environment, and how to use techniques to improve the quantity and quality of adult-child talk.

If you are interested in a sponsorship for the LENA Program, contact the HCS School Readiness Department at 256-428-6886.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the age requirement to apply for Pre-Kindergarten?
  • Children must be four years of age on or before September 1, 2020 (children who are eligible for Kindergarten are ineligible to apply).
  • You must be a resident of Huntsville and can only be selected for the school zone in which you live.
  • A child cannot be retained in Pre-Kindergarten, he/she can only spend one year in the program.
When and how do I apply for Pre-Kindergarten?
  • The application window will open on March 9, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and close on March 23, 2020.  The online application is a two-step process and will be available on the Huntsville City Schools website under the School Readiness department.  If you are not able to access the online application, please contact any elementary school for assistance or the readiness department (256-428-6886).
  •  The application process will be RE-OPENED from July 13, 2020 – January 31, 2021.
  • The Magnet Schools (AAA, ASFL) Pre-K application window typically opens and closes in the fall.  Please contact the magnet school department for more information.
How does the selection process work?
  • Huntsville City Schools uses a computerized selection program to randomly select children for the Pre-K program.
  • The program gives priority to children based on at-risk factors and other eligibility criteria identified by Huntsville City Schools.
  • You must reside in Huntsville and can only be selected for the school zone in which the child lives.
What happens if my child is selected?
  • If selected, parents will be notified via email of provisional acceptance usually within two weeks after the initial application process closes (tentatively, March 23-27-20).
  • This acceptance will be contingent upon the verification of all eligibility/required documents stated in the provisional acceptance letter and attendance at the mandatory orientation. 
  • All documents must be brought to the school by the date specified on the provisional acceptance letter.  The date for the mandatory orientation will also be on your provisional acceptance letter.  
  • The child is considered fully enrolled after the following occurs:
  1. All documents have been verified by the school site;
  2. Parents have attended the Mandatory Orientation;
  3. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire is completed when requested; and
  4. Powerschool registration is completed via the Assessment & Accountability page under enrollment (can only be done after attending mandatory orientation).
What documents are required if selected?
  • Age verification document (for example, birth certificate, passport, official medical document, or an official document from another country)
  • If you own/rent you must provide two (2) proofs of residence (1st-signed lease, copy of a deed, mortgage statement, 2nd utility bill, cable or telephone bill)
  • Parents/guardians living with another person or family must complete the new shared resident packet and provide all required documents (please see the student enrollment reference guide).
  • Immunization Record (most current)
  • Parent/Guardian Photo ID
  • Proof of Temporary Guardianship (if applicable)
  • Proof of Legal Custody (if applicable)
  • Proof of income (W2 or pay stubs for the most recent two weeks of work for each parent/guardian contributing to support of the child).
  • Additional documents may be requested
What happens if my child is placed on the wait list?
  • If you have not received a provisional acceptance letter by mid- April, your child will be automatically placed on the wait list
  • If a vacancy occurs, and your child is selected you will be notified via email and phone.
  • The wait list will remain active throughout the school year and there is no need to re-apply.
What is "Meet Your Teacher Day"?

This event will take place in August (tentatively, August 6 & 7). Teachers will notify parents of the date and time that they are scheduled to attend. It is important that students and parents have an opportunity to become acquainted with the teacher and new school environment prior to the first full day of school.

What is Staggered Start?
  • Staggered start allows the students an opportunity to get adjusted to the classroom in a small setting.
  • Fifty percent (50%) of the students will report on each day (tentatively, August 10 &11 full day of attendance).
  • All students will report on August 12th.
What is BLENDED Pre-K Program "Exploring Our World"?
  • The Blended Pre-K program includes children ages three and four with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and children age four without an IEP.
  • To be selected, children without an IEP will be screened to  determine their readiness level to serve as a model peer.
  • If your child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or if you have concerns regarding developmental delays, behavioral or any other issues, you should contact the Special Education Department for more information (256-428-6872).
Is the program a full day and is there a cost?
  • The program is 6.5 hours a day. Students must be signed in and out daily by a parent or an adult guardian.
  • The tuition agreement provided at orientation will outline the cost. An estimate of tuition can be found on the Huntsville City Schools, School Readiness webpage.
  • Start times may vary by school.
Is attendance mandatory?

Once students are accepted into the Pre-K program, daily attendance is MANDATORY.  We follow the attendance policy as identified in your parent partnership agreement.

How many students per class?

There is a maximum of 18 children per class that includes a certified lead teacher and an auxiliary teacher.

Is transportation provided by the district?

Parents are responsible for transporting students daily.

Is there a curriculum?

The new curriculum for this upcoming school year has not yet been finalized, but it will be aligned with NAEYC and Alabama Developmental Standards for Pre-School students.

What assessments are used?
  • Teaching Strategies Gold
  • New Curriculum
  • Imagine Learning
Are there Head Start classes available?
Is there an afterschool program?

Extended day is available at some sites. Contact the schools for more information.

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