Groundbreaking ‘early kindergarten' program underway in metro school district

Students in school

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Dozens of students in Cobb County went back to school extra early. They've been in class all summer.

The students in “early kindergarten” didn't have much of a break, but today, they are ready to go and already in a groove.

If the program works the way district leaders hope, the students will perform as well, if not better, than other kids in their grade.


Belmont Hills Elementary in Cobb County is where 21 students started extra early on May 31. The county created the program to give some of their youngest students in the Title 1 school a two-month head start.

School leaders said it gives students access to early academics as well as working together and playing in a group.

The students will stay together in one classroom after the regular school year starts to see if they outperform their peers. If so, they'll look to expand the program.

Cobb County’s school superintendent says "early kindergarten" could be a good fit for other districts, too. If it works, he said he would like to see it qualify for Georgia lottery money just like pre-k programs do now.

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