The Franklin Special School District has several programs that fall into the Early Learning division. Please visit the tabs below to read about our early childhood education programs.
The Franklin Special School District’s voluntary pre-kindergarten program provides a high quality educational program through an active learning approach. Young children learn skills at their own level in ways meaningful to them. Pre-K helps children prepare for kindergarten socially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Experienced, knowledgeable, and understanding teachers and staff guide them through music, stories, songs, and play. All of these fun activities help children develop academic and social skills as they play. Each class has a full-time state-licensed teacher and an educational assistant.
The application process is currently open for the 2023-2024 school year.
Please complete the application below to begin the qualification process for FSSD's Voluntary Pre-K program for the 2023-2024 school year. Once the application is completed, more information will be mailed to your home address. To be eligible to complete an application:
- Children must be born between August 16, 2018 – August 15, 2019, with consideration given to children born on or before October 15, 2019.
- Children must live in the Franklin Special School District
The Tennessee Department of Education Office of Early Learning requires school districts first serve students whose family meets specific income qualifications. Space permitting, students may be served who have disabilities, are identified as English Learners, are in state custody, or are identified as educationally at-risk for failure due to circumstances of abuse or neglect. Please contact of the Office of Student Support Services at (615) 591-2802 if you have additional questions.
- Frequently Asked Questions: Questions about Pre-K in Tennessee? Find answers to the most common questions below from the Tennessee Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning.
Classes and Schools
Children attend FSSD voluntary pre-kindergarten Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 2:00. Each school has one class – Liberty Elementary School, Johnson Elementary School, Moore Elementary School, Poplar Grove Elementary School, and Franklin Elementary School.
The Tennessee Department of Education Office of Early Learning requires that school districts first serve students whose family meets specific income qualifications. Space permitting, students may be served who have disabilities, are identified as English Learners, are in state custody, or are identified as educationally at-risk for failure due to circumstances of abuse or neglect. Please contact the Office of Student Support Services at (615) 591-2802 if you have additional questions.
The TN Early Learning Developmental Standards for 4-year-olds were written to support teachers, caregivers, and families who want to provide high-quality, developmentally appropriate early learning experiences for children before they begin kindergarten. These standards provide a direct alignment with the content areas found in Tennessee’s state English language arts and mathematics standards as well as the Tennessee state standards for kindergarten.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION:
Research shows that when 3- and 4-year-olds are engaged in quality preschool programs, they are better prepared for later learning. They have better oral language and reading readiness skills, have fewer referrals for remedial classes or special education, and are less likely to repeat classes
The FSSD Special Education Preschool program serves the needs of three- to five-year-old children who have developmental delays. The service delivery model is a school-based program and includes positive peer role models in each Special Education Preschool class. Eligible students must be 4 years old by August 15 and reside in or have a parent employed in the Franklin Special School District. The school day is 6 hours per day, Monday through Friday. The inclusion model provides a wide range of learning opportunities and the least restrictive environment that is both stimulating and challenging for both groups of children. The program also promotes belonging, friendships, understanding and acceptance of others who are different.
For more information, visit FSSD Special Populations online.
Franklin Special School District’s childcare center, WeeMAC, is open year-round for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, offering them a nurturing and caring environment in which they can grow and learn. It is licensed by the Tennessee Department of Education. It was created to care for the children of employees and their families, but also accepts families who do not have relatives working in the district. Tuition is comparable to other childcare facilities in the area and the program is self-sustaining.
Philosophy: WeeMAC believes that children flourish in a caring, nurturing, yet stimulating environment where they are encouraged to explore using developmentally appropriate toys and learning tools. We believe that play is the work of the child. Through exploration and play, children reach developmental milestones as they are guided by childcare professionals who use an integrated approach to helping the child learn and grow.
What does developmentally appropriate practice mean? It means that there is no one “formula” that will work for all children. The teachers, therefore, adapt materials, experiences, and strategies to meet children’s individual needs. It also means that the setting allows play to be the major activity. Developmentally appropriate practice is based on the assumption that children will need to communicate effectively, work well with others, problem solve, gather and interpret information in increasingly complex ways, and easily adapt to new situations when they are adults. It also allows children to learn to express their feelings, understand the feelings of others, and develop a strong sense of self, which creates a foundation for later relationships.
Our Staff: We look for teachers and caregivers that love young children and understand how to work with them. We look for people who have had experience in the early childhood field and who are still eager to learn and develop themselves. They should understand what is developmentally appropriate for children and should be able to respond to the emotional needs of the children in their care. They should be people who work well under stress and are physically able to perform the tasks required. All of our staff attend professional learning classes throughout the school year to learn what’s new in the field and to refresh their knowledge.
Location and Hours: Wee MAC is located inside Freedom Middle School, 750 New Highway 96 West. The hours are 6:45 – 5:00 Monday through Friday, and the program is open year-round to accommodate the working schedules of school district employees. “We understand how hard it is to find a quality, affordable childcare and want our employees to feel a sense of comfort knowing their children are receiving the very best care possible,” said Director of Schools Dr. David Snowden.
WeeMAC offers appropriate rooms for each stage of a child’s development:
Infants (6 weeks to 12 months): A peek into the infant room will find babies lovingly cared for by trained, professional staff. The infants are allowed to follow their own pre-determined schedules. They are fed, changed, and sleep when they need it. As they grow older, many of them no longer require as many naps and their sleeping habits follow a more routine schedule. The babies are read to, exercised, encouraged, and taught how to play with the toys in the classroom. Teachers and caregivers talk to the infants throughout their day to help them with language development.
Wobblers (12 months to 24 months): In this class are children who have begun to walk and run confidently. They may range in age from 12-15 months to 2 years. They have begun to express themselves with words and sounds that have meaning to them and to their caregivers. They love to climb and run and pull and push and are generally excited about life. During the course of their day, there is music, indoor and outdoor gross motor play, reading books, and lots of movement and activity. Also emphasized in this age range are good hygiene practices, such as hand washing, as well as managing their own behavior while developing a sense of independence. They’re a busy bunch!
Toddlers (2-3 years): Our toddlers are a curious bunch, always investigating and drawing conclusions about what they see. Their language development is amazing as they learn new words and concepts rapidly. This is the age when potty training begins seriously. Some have started training when they enter the toddler class but all will be trained before they move on to the next classroom. As with all classes, routines are important to children this age and they consistently gather for stories and focus on activities that will reinforce cognition in fun and interesting ways. They get lots of time out of doors. Since this is the “me” or “mine” age, they are learning to share and be kind as well as how to express their own needs and desires appropriately.
Pre-Kindergarten (3-5 years): The emphasis in the pre-k class is preparation for kindergarten. In this multi-age classroom, some children will leave at the end of the year to go to kindergarten, while the younger children will remain with us until they too reach kindergarten age. The curriculum is differentiated for each child’s developmental level. When concepts are introduced to the class, the older children extend their abilities through teacher-directed activities while the younger children learn foundational skills. Children are given many opportunities for exploration and experimentation. They build language skills by talking with teachers and classmates and by listening to stories read to them in both group and one-on-one settings. They experiment with writing and learn to recognize letters and their sounds and numbers. They are surrounded by interesting centers where they learn how things work and how to build and construct on their own.
Children in this class learn self-control and coping skills which ultimately helps to build their self-esteem. The children in our pre-k class do lots of cooking, painting, crafts, and other forms of artistic expression. They dance, sing, and express themselves through dramatic play. Teacher-directed activities encourage children to achieve developmental goals.