Early Start FAQs

What is Early Start/VPI?
The Early Start/VPI (Virginia Preschool Initiative) program is an “At-Risk” program for children who turn 4 years old by September 30, 2019 who need an extra year to prepare for success in kindergarten. Screenings for both child and parent will take place in June. This screening will allow school officials to select children according to their needs. Eligibility criteria includes but not limited to:

• Income – Family income at or below 200% of the poverty level

• Education – Parents or guardians are school dropouts

• Homelessness

• Family income is less than 350% of federal poverty guidelines for children with disabilities

• Language and Development Assessment of child

 

Which school will my child attend?
The Suffolk Public School District has 11 elementary schools.  Students are not guaranteed placement in the home-zoned school. Please be advised that attendance zones may be modified to address school capacity issues.  Parents can view our zones by visiting our district’s website at www.spsk12.net.

 

How do I register my child for school?
Parents cannot register their child for school until they receive notification that their child has been accepted in the Early Start/VPI program.  Registration of Early Start/VPI students is completed through your child's new school. Parents can start the registration process by gathering necessary documents before August. Please refer to the State Health Requirements to see which medical records your child will need. Specific documents must be presented in person prior to the completion of registration. For more information, visit our district’s website at www.spsk12.net.

 

Is transportation provided for my child?
Students who attend the Early Start/VPI program are provided free transportation to and from school. The Transportation Department determines bus routes, bus stops and pick-up/drop-off times. Prior to the start of each school year this information is posted on our website and in the Suffolk News Herald.

 

When does school start?
Virginia state law mandates that public schools begin each year the first Tuesday after Labor Day. This year, school starts Tuesday, September 3, 2019.  The school year calendar is available to parents on the district’s website at www.spsk12.net.

 

What time does Early Start/VPI school start?
All elementary schools start at 9:25 a.m.  Parents may drop-off students after 9:00 a.m. For a complete listing of school start times, visit our district’s website at www.spsk12.net.

 

Does Suffolk Public Schools offer before and after-school child care?
A before and after-school child care program is available at each of the district’s elementary schools through independent contractors. Hours, program offerings, policies and costs are determined by the child care provider, not Suffolk Public School District. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.spsk12.net.

 

What curriculum is used for Early Start/VPI students?
The Suffolk Public Schools’ Early Start/VPI curriculum aligns with Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Comprehensive Standards for Four-Year-Olds.  It provides a measurable range of skills and knowledge essential for four-year-olds to be successful in kindergarten.

 

When will I be notified whether my child has been accepted in the Early Start/VPI program?
Acceptance letters will be mailed the week of August 3, 2019

 

Is Early Start/VPI full day or half day?
All Early Start/VPI classes are full day from 9:25 AM until 3:50 PM.

 

Can I pick up my child early a few days a week?
Suffolk Public Schools’ Early Start/VPI program operates just like a school classroom. Parents commit to sending their child to school for the complete 6.5 hours day and 180 days per year. Children can be withdrawn for being chronically tardy in the morning or being picked up prior to the end of the instructional day.

 

What happens if I move before school starts or during the 2019-2020 school year?
You should notify Suffolk Public Schools as soon as possible.  There may not be available space if you move to another Suffolk Public Schools zone.  If you move outside of the city of Suffolk, your child is no longer eligible to attend the Early Start/VPI program.

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