Elevate: Pre-K

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria speak to the investment the city will make in Pre-K education and its impact for students. In August 2019, 54 more pre-K students were placed in classrooms, and 6 new teachers were hired.
  • Overview

    Currently Elevate is funding two Pre-K classrooms in Tuscaloosa City Schools. The TCS goal is to provide a high-quality Pre-K program that excites the minds of our youngest learners and creates a desire for life-long learning. Research shows that children who attend a public Pre-K program are more prepared for kindergarten than those who are not given that opportunity.

    In the 2021-2022 school year, TCS had 30 OSR classes, two general education classes, and two Elevate classes.

  • Research

    Research shows that children who attend a quality Pre-K program:

    • are less likely to repeat a grade,
    • are less likely to need remediation or special education services,
    • score higher on achievement tests,
    • get paid higher salaries as adults, and
    • are more likely to stay out of prison and need government assistance

    Read more: Pre-K: Decades Worth of Studies, One Strong Message

  • Results

    According to 2018 research from the University of Alabama, 80 percent of the academically at-risk students who participated in the Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative were reading on grade level by kindergarten.

    Read more: Are Pre-K Children in Tuscaloosa School-Ready?

  • Requirements

    Students who are four on or before September 1 and live in the Tuscaloosa City school zone are eligible to attend our Pre-K program. A public random selection drawing will be used to choose students for classrooms. Random selection means that every child in the population has an equal chance of being selected. Pre-registration will begin mid-January and end the first week of March. Random selections will take place in March. Parents must provide proof of residence, up to date immunization card, and birth certificate when accepted into the program.

    Children in our Pre-k program must be fully toilet-trained. Pullups are not acceptable.  Bus transportation is not provided for our Pre-k students. Parents are responsible for drop-off and pick-up each day. 


  • "ELEVATE is yet another sign of the strong commitment that Mayor Maddox, the City Council, and the entire Tuscaloosa community have for education. The local funds for education allow the Tuscaloosa City Schools to accelerate its progress in ways that are not possible without local support." 

    Mike Daria, Ed.D