Preschools Hold Mandatory Saturday Class To Make Up Snow Days

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Some local parents are being asked to bring their children to preschool on Saturday to make up for snow days, according to the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Many Northwest Arkansas Kindergarten through 12th grade schools will hold classes Saturday to make up for days missed because of snowy weather earlier this month and last month. Now preschools are getting into the mix as well.

Several areas preschools with state funding from Arkansas Better Chance are requiring three- and four-year-old students to attend class Saturday to make sure they meet funding requirements. The Arkansas Better Chance program requires schools to provide 178 days of instruction in order to continue the funding, said Amy Webb, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

One letter sent home to parents about the Saturday school warns that attendance is mandatory. Parents who let their children’s attendance at preschool drop below 80 percent may be dropped from local early childhood programs.

Friendship Community Care in Lowell is one such early childhood program that is asking parents to bring their preschool-age children to school on Saturday, according to an employee at the facility.

The facility opened after the school year began, so it was already scheduled to hold instruction days during a few Saturdays to make up for the lost time. In addition to this Saturday, the facility is also scheduled to be open for two Saturdays in February, according to Friendship Community Care.

Not all local preschools are requiring Saturday school, though. An employee with Fayetteville Montessori School said its preschool program is one of those in the area already on track for the 178-day instruction requirement without the addition of Saturday school.