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Fort Wayne Community Schools recognizes the advantage quality early childhood education provides students. Children enrolled in quality programs at a young age are less likely to repeat grades or need special education services. And, according to research, they are more likely to graduate from high school and will ultimately earn higher salaries. FWCS provides a variety of options for children in the community to access quality educational programs in pre-K.

If you have any questions about these programs, let us know through Let’s Talk!

Ready to enroll? Online registration for FWCS pre-K is OPEN on the myFWCS Parent Portal. Registering early allows parents to learn about the program and help ease their child’s transition to school. Questions? Please call us at (260) 467-2850


cute kid workers

First Day of FWCS Pre-K
Thursday, Aug. 22, 2024

Fort Wayne Community Schools offers both full-day and half-day pre-K programs for children living within the boundaries of  FWCS. Our pre-K programs are fully accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and have earned the Level 4 Paths to Quality rating. Paths to Quality is Indiana’s statewide rating system for early care and education programs. Applications for pre-K start in March for the following school year. Acceptance in the program is based on age, home address and space available at the location. Start by looking with our address finder tool to see what school you are eligible for.

This program is funded through federal Title I funds, which are provided to assist schools in serving students living in high-poverty areas. FWCS invests these funds in pre-K to ensure students, who could potentially be at risk for falling behind their peers, have the best opportunity to establish a strong academic foundation.

Magnet Programs

Bunche Montessori Early Childhood

Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center is a magnet school offering Montessori education for children ages 3 to 6 years old. As a Montessori school, the curriculum follows the methods developed by Maria Montessori, who believed children must cultivate their own natural desire to learn to become truly educated individuals who are motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. Classrooms are multi-age and look different than traditional classrooms. Materials are at the child’s level and offer a hands-on experience. Students are shown lessons and then work at their own pace. Three-year-old students attend in the morning only. Four-year-old pre-K students and kindergarten students attend for the full day.

Since 2003, Bunche has been accredited with the American Montessori Society, the first public Montessori school in the United States to receive such status. As a magnet school, enrollment is open to all families through the lottery process. Families interested in enrolling a child must submit an application. Children are selected through the lottery based on space available.

First Day of School for P-4 and Kindergarten:
Thursday, Aug. 8, 2024


First Day of School for P-3:
Thursday, Aug. 22, 2024

Bunche students preparing breakfast

Whitney Young STEAM Early Childhood 

Whitney Young STEAM Magnet School provides a nurturing learning environment and explicit instruction of foundational literacy and numeracy skills for early learners.  Student learning is enhanced with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) units of study, which allows students to collaboratively and creatively apply these foundational skills in authentic ways (read and write about simple machines, sort and count insects based on specific characteristics, research and present information about STEAM careers, etc.)  Additionally, students have regular opportunities to explore nature in our outdoor learning lab, experiment with the arts and various mediums in our art studio, and develop problem-solving skills and utilize technology tools and applications in our STEAM lab.  These experiences deepen student understanding, allow students to excel academically and interpersonally, and prepare our students for the next level of STEAM curriculum and the various course offerings at Weisser Park STEAM Magnet School. As a magnet school, enrollment is open to all families through the lottery process. Families interested in enrolling a child must submit an application. Children are selected through the lottery based on space available.

First Day of School for Kindergarten:
Thursday, Aug. 8, 2024


First Day of School for pre-K:
Thursday, Aug. 22, 2024

Two girls painting pictures
Student using technology to learn

On My Way Pre-K

Whitney Young Early Childhood Center

FWCS accepts On My Way Pre-K grants in each of the Title I pre-K programs. Families must apply through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Child must be 4 but not yet 5 years old by Aug. 1, 2023.
  • Child must be a resident of Indiana.
  • Parents/guardians in the household must have a service need (working, going to school, attending job training).
  • In Allen County, families must earn less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Additional information is available by clicking here.

First Day of School:
Thursday, Aug. 22, 2024

Special Education

Fort Wayne Community Schools provides special education services to qualifying children ages 3 to 5. Services outlined in a child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) are based on the individual needs of the student. Depending on a child’s need, he/she may work with an early childhood general education teacher, early childhood special education teacher, teaching assistant, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, mental health therapist and/or physical therapist. Call our Special Education Office at 260.467.1110 for information on testing to determine eligibility.

Designated special education pre-K programs are located at:

First Day of School
Thursday, Aug. 22, 2024

Students participating in Adaptive Field Day
In the classroom learning

Before & After School Y-Care


FWCS partners with the YMCA to provide childcare before and after school at many elementary schools, including half-day programs for pre-K students. The program provides snacks, homework assistance and structured activities. More information on this program can be found on the Y-Care website.

Passport to Pre-K

Passport to Pre-K is our pre-K registration kick-off event where parents can learn all about FWCS's fully accredited pre-K programs for children who will be age 4 by August 1. Then, we'll help you get registered for the school year at your neighborhood school while your little one enjoys activities and fills up a passport at our fun stations. There are also FWCS support departments to help with translation, transportation, nutrition, technology and family support as well as community partners.

Photos from Passport to Pre-K

Additional Information

  • Nutrition Services
  • Transportation: Transportation is provided to students attending their geographically assigned school or a magnet school and living outside the No Transportation Zone. For transportation and school boundary information, please call the Coordinator of Routing at 260.467.1900.
  • Our school nurses provide excellent care to all students. Make sure your child is ready for school with the proper immunizations required and other health considerations.
  • What immunizations will your child need? Our immunizations page has a current listing.
  • Conferences: All pre-K students and parents will receive information from the school with a time and date for a conference before school starts. Students may bring their supplies and meet their teacher at this time.