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We Touch the Future

Bay District Schools VPK & ESE Pre-Kindergarten classes are safe, respectful, responsive and positive places. It is a place that supports children actively engaging with their world to establish healthy relationships with others, solving interesting problems and figuring out who they are and how they fit in their family and community.

Families feel connected to Bay District Schools knowing that their children are cared for and nurtured. It is a place where children and families will learn and have their voices valued.

The purpose of the Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) program is to prepare young children to start kindergarten ready to learn. Pre-K classes offer a high quality, standards-driven, school readiness curriculum with qualified staff. Learning experiences are embedded in all parts of the curriculum, including unplanned experiences or teachable moments that occur in a classroom each day. All Pre-K programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and certified as Gold Seal Programs by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Pre-Kindergarten Services provide educational opportunities for students from birth to age 22. Students from birth to age 5 are served through our Pre-K programs (ESE Pre-Kindergarten and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten).


Voluntary Pre- Kindergarten Information


Pre-K Application  Pay Online for Pre-K Extended Day

State Legislation House Bill 1A:

Children must be 4 years of age on or before September 1 of the current year to participate. Parents have a choice of locations. Parents may choose an approved public school, private child care or a faith-based child care.Parents should choose the VPK provider carefully. The State Law has strict rules for withdrawing and relocating child. Parents have a choice of a free school-year program OR a free summer program. The free school-year program for Bay District Schools is 540 hours (3 hours a day X 180 days 7:30 – 10:30) Parents, that wish their child to attend beyond the free hours the State provides, are responsible to pay for the additional services. (10:30 – 2:00) The fee for the additional service is $60 a week.

Class size limit as mandated by State Statute: 20 children with 2 adults for the school year program and 12 children for each 1 adult during the summer program. Bay District Schools have limited spaces for the school year program. A school year waiting list will be maintained.  All children requesting the summer program MUST be served.


VPK School Year Program

(540 Hours)

VPK Summer Program

(300 Hours)



Children must be 4 years of age on or before September 1 of the current year and live in Florida.


School Year Application Process

Parent may apply online or call (850) 767- 4201 or (850) 767-4358. General demographic information will be taken. The date and time of contact will be a part of each application. That information establishes a position on the data base.Pre-K children are placed by District Pre-K Office.Placement and wait list letters will be sent monthly.Class size ratios must be followed for VPK, therefore a wait list is maintained.Space is limited.Home zoned children are placed first.On June 1, out-of-zone children will be placed if space is available.


ESE Pre-Kindergarten:

Exceptional Student Education (ESE) is instruction specifically designed to meet the educational and developmental needs of children with disabilities or those who are experiencing developmental delays.  Services for preschool children (ages 3 through 5) are provided free of charge through our public schools. Screenings and comprehensive evaluations are available through****

Florida law specifies that each parent is responsible for the transportation of his or her child to and from the VPK program. However, there is limited transportation for current routes, times and available space at regular school bus stops during the regular school times.  No special transportation arrangements are available due to lack of state funding.

Official seal for Bay District Schools
1311 Balboa Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401
(850) 767-4100
William V Husfelt III
Bay District Schools
Office of the Superintendent