(UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS NEWS RELEASE) – The University of Memphis is launching a new kindergarten program as part of its national Blue Ribbon-designated Campus School. Campus School has served the University community for decades in grades 1-5, yet it has never been home to a kindergarten program.
The kindergarten addition will open doors to not only increase enrollment and access to Campus School, it will also allow its hallmark laboratory education to extend into a public kindergarten experience. The addition is made possible, in part, by a $1 million renovation to an existing University building which will be repurposed as part of the elementary school campus. Construction is expected to begin in the coming months.
“Adding kindergarten to the Campus School curriculum not only advances our University Schools’ goal of diversity, inclusion and access within our schools, it also opens the doors for more dynamic and robust research and practitioner training programs that can have lasting impact across the district and field of early childhood education,” said Sally Parish, associate vice president for Educational Initiatives.
Campus School is a laboratory school operated in partnership with Shelby County Schools. Campus School promotes excellence in teaching and enthusiasm for learning and serves the campus and community as a hub of observation, reflection, and teacher and practitioner practice. This excellence will be extended into the kindergarten experience through the integration of research into an innovative curriculum and the engagement of a diverse school population.
With the addition of this inaugural kindergarten class, comprised of children of UofM faculty and staff as well as students residing in a two-mile radius proximal to campus, University Schools will see a record year of enrollment. The 2020-21 academic year is expected to enroll over 700 children within three University Schools. This number will continue to grow toward the 1,000 mark with the addition of future University Middle grades and future enrollment in the UofM and Porter-Leath partnership preschool program.
“The addition of a kindergarten to Campus School allows us to create a true educational compendium with continuity of care and support for children and families in our community,” Parish said. “The launch of Campus School’s first-ever kindergarten program demonstrates the University’s continued commitment to supporting children from birth to graduation in the Memphis community. We are truly overjoyed at the opportunity to provide this experience to our community and look forward to the new families and children that we will be able to serve.”
The new kindergarten program is the latest in a series of additions and expansions to the University Schools educational compendium which seeks to provide the children of our community with educational experiences that enhance their development and promote dynamic research, collaborative partnerships and innovative practices.