Early Childhood


Early Childhood Coordinator - Debbie Darnell - 423-956-8927 darnelld@btcs.org

Tennessee Department of Education Pre-School Standards


The Bristol Tennessee school system offers a free early childhood program to children living in the Bristol, Tennessee city limits. These early childhood classes are funded by federal funds, state grants, special education and local funds. The programs serve children who turn four on or before August 15 of the current school year. Pre-school classes follow the BTCS calendar and are in session daily from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Regular attendance is a requirement for all children. Pre-school students may purchase breakfast and/or lunch at the elementary rate. Free and reduced meals are available if eligibility requirements are met.


Our goal is to provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum that will prepare our children for their elementary school experience. The early childhood programs will ensure children a smooth transition into their kindergarten year. Each classroom has one certified early childhood teacher and one educational assistant. Our programs provide a research-based reading program that presents children with rich language experiences through phonological, phonemic, and print awareness activities. In addition, early childhood classrooms provide learning centers that address the domains of cognitive development, social-emotional development, fine/gross motor development, and communication that will build the important foundation needed for future reading skills and other academic pursuits. Learning centers are a valuable component of the curriculum in that they provide children with the opportunity to make choices and be involved in active, hands-on activities each day. Some of the activities children are involved in include:

Prewriting - Reading quality children's literature - Journaling - Creating books - Letter Recognition - Logic & Mathematics - Problem solving - Multisensory - Cutting
Music & Movement - Outdoor Play - Sand & Water play - Cooking - Exploring materials - Dramatic play - Woodworking - Social relationships - Expression of choices
Creating & Building - Drawing & Painting - Pretending


PreK registration is held in April at each elementary school. Children entering the Pre-K programs must be four years of age on or before August 15 of the current school year.

First priority will be given to those children who qualify for free or reduced lunch, have not previously been enrolled in a group experience or who come from situations that may be considered ‘at risk'. An application process is used to determine those students most in need of the Pre-K program. The pre-school program is free to families living in the city school district. Families will be notified by mail prior to the start of the program. Children will enter on a staggered schedule and follow the BTCS calendar.

Folder PreK & Kindergarten Registration Information (1 Files)
pdf file PreK & K Registration Information

The Bristol Tennessee City School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.

Bristol Tennessee City Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you have questions or concerns regarding the accessibility of the website or if you are unable to access information on the website, you may email or call the Technology Department at (423) 652-9363.