Coming soon: Virginia Preschool Initiative registration

Planning to register your child in Richmond City’s (free!) VPI program? Online registration starts on Tuesday, and in-person registration kicks off next month. Allow us to share some helpful info to get you squared away…

Photo by: Skley

Richmond Public Schools Virginia Preschool Initiative Program gives local four-year-olds access to a free, quality preschool experience in an effort to make sure they are ready to get learnin’ when they cross over thresholds of their future kindergarten classrooms.

The majority of VPI classrooms are housed within RPS elementary schools, but there are also three, free-standing preschool learning centers available…

Schools with VPI classroom

  • Bellevue Elementary, 2301 Grace Street
  • Chimborazo Elementary School, 3000 E. Marshall Street
  • J.B. Fisher Elementary School, 3701 Garden Road
  • J.L. Francis Elementary School, 5146 Snead Road
  • Linwood Holton Elementary School, 1600 Laburnum Avenue
  • Miles Jerome Jones Elementary School, 200 Beaufont Hill Drive
  • Oak Grove-Bellmeade Elementary School, 2409 Webber Avenue
  • Overby-Sheppard Elementary School, 2100 First Avenue
  • E.D. Redd Elementary School, 5601 Jahnke Road
  • G.H. Reid Elementary School, 1301 Whitehead Road
  • Southampton Elementary School, 3333 Cheverly Road
  • Swansboro Elementary School, 3160 Midlothian Turnpike
  • Westover Hills Elementary School, 1211 Jahnke Road

Preschool Centers

  • James H. Blackwell Preschool Learning Center, 238 E. 14th Street (serving students south of the City)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Preschool Learning Center, 1000 Mosby Street (serving students in the East End)
  • Mary Scott Preschool Center, 4011 Moss Side Avenue (serving students in the East End)
  • Maymont Preschool Learning Center, 1211 S. Allen Avenue (serving students in the John B. Cary, Mary Munford, William Fox, Clark Springs, Maymont neighborhoods and area schools in south Richmond)

When registering, you can select one alternate choice in addition to your in-zone school.

To be eligible for VPI for the 2016-2017 academic year, your child must be four years old by September 30th of this year, and your family must reside in the City of Richmond.

On-site VPI registration is scheduled for Thursday, March 10th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Arthur Ashe Center (3001 N. Boulevard). Online registration opens on Tuesday, February 8th, but you will need to also set up an in-person appointment to submit your child’s medical, residential, and general yes-this-is-a-real-person documentation. So, make sure you bring these items with you:

  • Your child’s certified birth certificate
  • Proof of city residence (example: copy of a utility bill or lease)
  • Documentation of your child’s last physical examination (dated within the last 12 months)
  • Your child’s up-to-date immunization records

According to the RPS website, there are 882 slots available in the VPI program overall. And while it’s important to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, enrollment is not a first-come-first-served situation-meaning you don’t need to camp out in front of the Arthur Ashe Center starting this weekend to get a spot. Your child’s enrollment is based on four factors:

  1. Eligibility (age, residence, program criteria)
  2. Application completion
  3. In-person documentation verification
  4. Space availability

If you’d like to learn more about Richmond Public Schools Virginia Preschool Initiative Program-and to get details on Head Start options for the even younger kiddos-check out this section on the RPS website. You’ll find out about the curriculum, a typical VPI day, how parents can get involved, all kinds of great stuff.

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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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