Welcome to Polk County Schools Preschool



Polk County Schools Preschool program was recently featured in this article by EdNc. Please click below to read and watch a short video about our great preschool program!
‘A lot of people think pre-K is separate.’ How a small, rural district unites two different worlds by, Liz Bell

Applications are now begin accepted for the 2021-2022 school year.

Children are served if they are three or four years of age on or before August 31, 2021. Our three year old spots are very limited and are only for three year old’s that are eligible for Head Start and the Exceptional Children’s Program.  Four year old’s may be served if they are eligible for Head Start, NC PreK, Exceptional Children’s programs, or as tuition.
Please use the online application if possible. 
Before completing the online application please read the letter to parents in the additional paperwork section. You may email your additional paperwork if needed to ahvanduyne@polkschools.org or you can drop it off at any school or Stearns.

  We are going paperless!!! Please apply online using these links.

English-click here

  Please Download this letter and  additional paperwork before you start your application.

       Espanolhaga clic aquí 

Los niños reciben servicios si tienen tres o cuatro años el 31 de agosto de 2021 o antes. Nuestros lugares para niños de tres años son muy limitados y solo tienen tres años que son elegibles para Head Start y el Programa de Niños Excepcionales. Los niños de cuatro años pueden recibir servicios si son elegibles para Head Start, NC PreK, programas para niños excepcionales o como matrícula. Utilice la aplicación en línea si es posible.
Antes de completar la solicitud en línea, lea la carta a los padres en la sección de documentación adicional.

 Documentación adicional Español


If you are unable to apply online please go to any elementary school or Stearns to pick up a paper packet.


Our Program

Polk County Schools operates model preschool programs at each of its four elementary schools, offering students in each of our communities the opportunity for a wonderful educational start.

Because we know children develop at their own developmental level and learn through playing in their environment, we encourage the educational approach of active learning. Through the use of the research-based High Scope curriculum, teachers allow children to initiate active learning experiences in their area of interest.  Children learn by doing, by working with hands-on materials and carrying out projects of their own choosing.  The High Scope approach encompasses all aspects of a child’s emerging intellectual, physical, social and emotional skills and abilities.  Services are also available for children with special needs such as speech and developmental disabilities.  We follow stringent Head Start Performance standards and NC PreK guidelines.  All of our teachers are certified by North Carolina to teach preschool.

Our preschool program offers comprehensive family support services. Our staff includes individuals with experience in family support services, health-related services and child development. An interpreter is available to assist our Spanish- speaking families. Please contact us with questions about our program or the application/enrollment process at (828)894-3051


In partnership with families and communities, the goal of the Polk County Schools Pre-Kindergarten program is to provide children with a high-quality, developmentally appropriate, early childhood experience that leads to a positive educational start.  Children are placed in a blended classroom by qualifying for Head Start, NC PreK, Exceptional Children’s Program, or by fee payment.  For children in need of bus transportation, this service will be provided.

Parent Involvement

We believe children’s first and most important teachers are their parents.  It is our goal to work as closely as possible with all parents and caregivers of our students.  A child has the best chance of achieving in all areas of development when there is good communication between the parent and other adults who help in the child’s care.  Home visits and parent-teacher conferences allow this communication to take place.  All families will receive home visits and/or conferences with their child’s teacher.  These may be requested by the teacher or the parent(s).  Parents are encouraged to visit their child’s classroom often to observe our program, and to volunteer. Parent meetings and family activities will also be offered by the individual schools and by the program.  Teachers will communicate with families with a regular class newsletter.

Parent Resources

School Readiness

Head Start defines school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and for later learning and life. The Head Start approach to school readiness means that children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children’s learning, and schools are ready for children (NCQTL/ECKLC).  The philosophy of our preschool program is to provide children with a high quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood experience that leads to a positive educational start.  This will be done in partnership with families and communities. To review our School Readiness Goals for all students, please use the link below.

School Readiness Goals

Program Plans

Listed below are links to our program plans, goals and Annual Report.  These are required as part of our Head Start grant.

NCPreK Committee

Polk Board of Education Head Start Program Goals Grant Cycle 2015-2020

Media Releases

2017-2018 Head Start Annual Report for Polk County Schools

Child and Adult Care Food Program Media Release




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