Fayette County Public Schools launches new campaign focusing on early childhood education

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 18:39:00-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Thursday, Fayette County Public Schools announced its new early childhood education initiative, "A New Way Forward." Last school year the district saw a dip in kindergarten readiness. Only 42% of incoming students met kindergarten readiness standards – including adaptive, cognitive, motor, communication, and social-emotional skills.

Superintendent Dr. Demetrus Liggins, says, "This community-based initiative, First 5 LEX, helps children, families, and caregivers, read, talk, and play from birth to kindergarten so that they are well equipped when they head into our classrooms for the first time."

The five-year strategic plan will focus on student achievement; equity, inclusion, and belonging; an effective culturally responsive workforce; outreach and engagement; and organizational health and effectiveness. They hope to have 100% of kindergarten students demonstrate readiness by the 2027-28 school year.

Dr. Liggins says, "When 58% of our students come to school already behind, there's something that we must do as a community together if we're ever going to close that gap."

Mayor Linda Gorton also spoke about early childhood education and its connection to the strength of the city.

She says, "One of the most important aspects of having a strong school system is community collaboration -- we all know this."

This district wants the community to know that they are available to help get students the support they need at every learning level.

"It's critical that families understand should they see a delay, should they have some concerns, there are services available, not only through our city but through our school system as well,” says Dr. Liggins.

Fayette County Public Schools superintendent says that the district will continue its existing community partnerships -- but now there will be more of a focus on younger students and making sure that families know what resources are available to them and their students.