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Pre-K Frequently Asked Questions

The Cheatham County Schools Pre-Kindergarten Program offers a high-quality pre-k experience for at-risk 4 year olds, with first priority given to children whose family is income eligible according to the US Health & Human Services Poverty Guidelines. The following information will help answer your questions about the program. If you have additional questions, please call or email Gena Batts, Pre-K Program Assistant, at 615-746-1414 or gena.batts@ccstn.org

1.  How does my child qualify for the pre-k program?

ALL children in the pre-k program must turn 4 by August 15th of the current school year and be a resident of Cheatham County.

1st Priority for enrollment:

  • The family is income eligible according to the US Health & Human Services Poverty Guidelines.
  • The child is in state custody or foster care.
  • The child is homeless, displaced by natural disaster, or migrant.
  • The child has had prior Head Start Services.

 2nd Priority for enrollment:

  • The child has an IEP (Individual Education Plan for Special Education).
  • The child is an English Language Learner (ELL).

If spaces are still available, we may enroll children based on the Community Pre-K Advisory Council priority for enrollment:

  • Parent(s) deployed in active military duty
  • Parent(s) with limited education
  • Teenage mother/father
  • Child being raised by grandparent or other family member


2.  What do I need to do to place my child in pre-k?

Registration for pre-k is usually held in April. It is held in conjunction with Kindergarten registration. Registration packets can be picked up at the Cheatham County Board of Education office or any of our elementary schools. Packets must be returned to the Cheatham County Board of Education office in Ashland City or can be returned at the Pre-K Carnival.

It is very important that you fill out the necessary paperwork and return it in a timely manner. At the time of registration, you will need to provide the following:

  • Proof of Income (paycheck stub or public assistance verification)
  • Certified Birth Certificate (not mother’s copy)
  • Social security card
  • Immunization Record (up-to-date on official form)
  • Proof of Physical (up-to-date on official form)
  • 3 proofs of residence (utility bills, driver’s license, rent/mortgage agreement, auto registration, voter registration)


3.  What happens after registration?

The application will be reviewed by the Cheatham County pre-k staff to determine income eligibility. The pre-k coordinator and program assistant will also review the at-risk factors to take into consideration any other eligibility factors.

4.  When will I find out if my child is eligible for the pre-k program?

You will receive a letter letting you know if your child meets the eligibility criteria for priority placement in the pre-k program. April applicants will receive notification by the end of June.

5.  What if my child does not qualify?

Your child’s name will be placed on a waiting list. Any additional spaces will be filled on a first come-first serve basis (based on the received application date). Children in this category will be notified by the beginning of the school year to determine your interest in the pre-k program if additional spaces are available.

6.  What happens next if my child is accepted in the pre-k program?

You will receive an acceptance letter from the pre-k program assistant. The pre-k teacher will then call you in August to set-up a time to meet with you and your child for orientation and to complete the paperwork for the pre-k program.

7.  Where are the pre-k classes located?

We have one class located at Ashland City Elementary, two classes at East Cheatham Elementary, one class at Pegram and one class at West Cheatham Elementary.

 8.  Where would my child attend Pre-K if a class is not located in our zoned school?

Pre-K is voluntary and parents provide transportation. Because of this, a child may attend a pre-k class that is not at his/her zoned school. If your child does attend a pre-k class that is out-of-zone, he/she must attend Kindergarten at his/her designated zoned school. Out of county students may not attend.

9.  Is there a charge for my child to attend the pre-k program?

There is not a charge for children to attend the pre-k program. Funds to support the program come through grants from the State of Tennessee. Each site receives funds for teachers, assistants, field trips, workshops for teachers, supplies and equipment. There are no fees requested from parents. You are asked to send a backpack or tote bag with extra clothes in case your child needs a change of clothes during the day. This will also be used to send student work home and to send communication between home and school. If you are unable to purchase a backpack or tote bag, please let the teacher know. One will be provided for your child. If you do not qualify for free or reduced meals, you will be asked to pay for breakfast and lunch provided by the school cafeteria.

10.   What are the pre-k class hours and what is the schedule?

Pre-K students go to school 5½ hours each school day. The school day starts at 7:45 am and ends at 1:15 pm. The pre-k school year calendar is the same as all other students with the exception of the beginning of the school year. Pre-K students attend on a staggered schedule during the first week of school. The first day of school is August 8, 2017. The first full day for all pre-k students is August 15, 2017.

11.   Do pre-k students come to school every day?

Yes. Pre-K is not intended to take the place of daycare. Students are required to be at school each day unless they are too ill to come to school. Daily attendance is critical for your child in order to be ready for Kindergarten. Parents should have their child at school on time and he/she must stay the entire day unless a situation arises that requires your child to leave early. An attendance policy addresses excessive absences, tardies, or early dismissals. When a child is absent, please send a doctor/dentist excuse or parent note to school the next day. Students who miss consistently may be asked to give up their spot in the class to another eligible child.

12.   Is bus transportation available for pre-k students?

No. Transportation is provided by the parents or guardians.

13.   Is before or after child care available for pre-k students at the school?

Yes. The Cheatham County Extended Care Programs are located at each of our pre-k sites. Hours of operation are 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. There is a weekly fee for this service and you must contact the individual daycare sites to register. Please call our office for more information and availability.

14.   What do pre-k students wear to school?

Pre-K students follow the standard dress code adopted by the Cheatham County Board of Education. Pre-K students have a very active school day. It is suggested that you dress your child in comfortable clothing and suitable for outside play. 

15.   What supplies does my child need for pre-k?

The only item needed is a backpack. Everything else is provided in the classroom. Your child will also be provided with a daily healthy snack.

16.   What do children do in the pre-k program?

Our quality pre-k classrooms enhance the child’s curiosity and desire to learn through small and large group activities. Children experience the delight and excitement of books through story time and independent listening centers. They discover wonders of the world through science investigation activities. They can be creative through art and writing centers. They learn order and structure through puzzles and blocks. They can become different people such as a doctor, nurse, chef, fireman, mom, or dad through dramatic play areas. They learn to count and associate numbers with objects. They learn to recognize the alphabet and letter sounds. They develop large and small motor skills through activities specifically designed for this development. Pre-kindergarten prepares your child to be successful in Kindergarten where the foundation for future learning is laid.

17.   What qualifications must the teachers and assistants have?

Each pre-k teacher is a certified teacher with an endorsement in pre-k. Assistants must have at least a high school education, but a Child Development Associate (CDA) is preferred. Teachers are required to obtain 18 hours training in pre-k related topics each year, and assistants must obtain 12 hours each year. All personnel have a health exam, background check, and references for employment on file at the Cheatham County Board of Education office. Teachers and assistants are certified in CPR and First Aid. They have attended a Child Abuse Awareness workshop. The teacher/student ratio must be 1:10 at all times. Each site is inspected twice a year by a child care program evaluator to ensure the site meets all requirements stated in the State Board of Education Regulations for School-Administered Child Care. Four-year old pre-k classes must follow the same requirements as daycare providers.



102 Elizabeth St. | Ashland City, TN 37015 | Ph: 615-792-5664 | Fx: 615-792-2551

Cheatham County School District does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, national origin or handicap in the operation of its educational programs and activities including employment practices.