NASD encourages kindergarten summer camp after Head Start closure

Published 4:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2022

NATCHEZ — Natchez Adams School District officials say they are concerned that next school year will be a challenging one for local students starting kindergarten without a Head Start program.

In response, the district is encouraging parents with children who will be starting kindergarten next school year to register their children for summer camp so they can adjust to a classroom setting.

In June 2021, AJFC Community Action Agency Head Start centers, including the Thompson Head Start Center in Natchez, closed after they lost federal funding.

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Mississippi Action for Progress Inc. was supposed to take over in July and continue providing Head Start services the following school year. However, the Head Start school never reopened.

“We’ll have students coming into kindergarten this year who’ve never set foot in a classroom,” Superintendent Fred Butcher said during last week’s board meeting. “When we fail to have Head Start, it affects everything.”

Summer classes are optional to all students, however, Butcher said emphasis should be placed on offering the program to young students who have not been able to benefit from Head Start.

Between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, there will be a special school registration period at the Louis Gunning Community Safe Room at 323 Liberty Road, NASD Public Engagement Coordinator Tony Fields said.

During this time, parents can receive assistance with registering their children for school and have the option to register them for the summer camp at the same time, he said.

“We’re trying to accelerate the learning of our students and especially those who haven’t had any type of school up to this point,” Fields said.

After Thursday, April 28, parents will still be able to sign up their children for the summer camp until it starts, he said. The camp lasts Monday through Thursday, June 13 through June 30.

Parents of kindergarten students will need to bring their child’s birth certificate, shot record and two different documents to show proof of their address.

Early school registration lasts until May 13 and can be done in person at the child’s school or online at

After May 13, school registration will reopen on June 1 and remain open until the start of the next school year, he said.