Departments‎ > ‎

Birth to 5 Years Old

                                                                                                                       Karen Auton, Director of Elementary Education
                                                                                                                                                                    Kim Deal, Administrative Assistant

Mobile Preschool Program

The Mobile Preschool program is FREE of charge.  If you would like your child to be on the bus, the first step is to fill out an application.  Although we appreciate parents turning in applications as soon as possible, students will be placed on a waiting list if they are under the age of 3.  Waiting lists will be filled according to those closest to starting kindergarten.

Our classrooms are buses that have been gutted out and remodeled with wooden cabinets for storage, shelving, and counter tops.  We have a typical classroom setup such as:  carpet area for group time, a sofa for reading/listening center, tables for center time, housekeeping, and we even have a small kid-friendly bathroom!

Each bus parks at six locations for one hour and forty-five minutes each week:  a total of 18 site stops throughout the county.  We can have 14 students enrolled at each site, serving a total of 252 students and their families countywide.

  • Free preschool

  • Certified teacher and teacher assistant

  • Developmentally appropriate

  • Small student/teacher ratio

  • Services provided by Burke County Public Schools in conjunction with Smart Start

  • Offers everything that would be available to your child in a traditional preschool classroom

  • Designed for children ages 3 years old until they are ready to enter kindergarten

  • We specialize in kindergarten readiness skills.

    Mobile Preschool Application  (doc)

    Mobile Preschool Application  (pdf)

BeeBee’s Schedule

Mondays & Wednesdays

8:00-9:45 - East Burke Middle

10:15-12:00 Heritage

12:30-2:15 Drexel


Tuesdays & Thursdays

8:00-9:45 Mtn. View 1

10:15-12:00 Mtn. View 2 (previously College St.)

12:30-2:15 Hillcrest


Betsie’s Schedule

Mondays & Wednesdays

8:00-9:45 Forest Hill

10:15-12:00 Oak Hill

12:30-2:15 Walter Johnson


Tuesdays & Thursdays

8:00-9:45 WA Young

10:15-12:00 Glen Alpine

12:30-2:15 Table Rock


Bustr’s Schedule

Mondays & Wednesdays

8:00-9:45 George Hildebrand

10:15-12:00 Salem

12:30-2:15 Liberty


Tuesdays & Thursdays

8:00-9:45 Icard

10:15-12:00 Hildebran

12:30-2:15 Valdese

Burke County Smart Start

Burke County Smart Start provides opportunities for four year old preschoolers to attend the Burke County Public Schools. 

The sites where the children are being served are: 
  • Drexel
  • Forest Hill
  • George Hildebrand
  • Glen Alpine
  • Hildebran
  • Icard
  • Hillcrest
  • Mountain View
  • Mull
  • Oak Hill
  • Ray Childers
  • Salem
  • Valdese
  • W. A. Young

Burke County Exceptional Children Preschool Services are available for children ages 3-5.  We believe that early identification of potential learning problems may prevent or alleviate future obstacles.  Our program recognizes and stresses the importance of family involvement with open communication between parents and staff.  Our services are available to preschool age children who are eligible under the Procedures Governing Programs and Services for Children with Disabilities.

Shirley Fore,

Exceptional Children’s Preschool Services Coordinator

For information on Exceptional Children Preschool Services, please contact:

Angie Clontz:  Referral and Evaluation Coordinator (828) 433-6030 ext. 4571 or

Katie Puckett: Instructional and Behavior Support (828) 433-6030 ext. 4572 or

Laura Campbell: Preschool Psychologist (828) 430-6030 ext. 4578 or

Kimberly Smith:  Administrative Assistant (828) 430-6030 ext. 4577 or

What are Exceptional Children Preschool Services?


Exceptional Children Preschool Services may include early education, therapy, and ideas of how families can help their children at home and in the community.  These services are based upon family strengths, concerns, priorities, and resources.


These are some of the services available to Exceptional Children Preschool children:

  • Screenings and assessments.

  • Comprehensive evaluations.

  • Occupational Therapy – to facilitate the highest level of independence in self-care and fine motor tasks.

  • Special instruction by and Early Childhood Education Teacher

  • Physical Therapy – to increase strength and movement.

  • Speech Therapy – to help with speech and language needs in order to encourage effective communication.

  • Vision Services – through the Governor Morehead Preschool Department.

  • Assistance with transitioning into elementary school.

Who is Eligible for Exceptional Children Preschool Services?


Eligibility is based on:

  • A significant delay in one or more areas of development compared to other children of his or her age.

  • A physical disability, hearing or vision loss.

Exceptional Children Preschool Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy Services provide therapy to encourage development of effective communication skills.  These services are provided by licensed Speech Language Pathologists and are available to children ages 3-5 who qualify based on evaluations.  These services may take place at their regular daycare or at Exceptional Children Preschool Services located at W.A. Young Elementary School and Hildebran Elementary School. 


For more information on Speech Therapy Services, contact our Preschool Speech Therapist, Stephanie McKinney at 433-6030 ext. 4575 or email at 



Exceptional Children Itinerant Special Education

Provides services for children needing social and readiness skills in preparation for entering Kindergarten.  These services are provided by licensed Birth-Kindergarten/Special Education teachers, and are available for children ages 3-5 who qualify based on evaluations. These services may be provided at their regular daycare or at Exceptional Children Preschool Services at W.A. Young Elementary School and Hildebran Elementary School.


For more information on Itinerant Services, please contact:

Amanda Adams: 433-6030 ext. 4579 or

Kelly Sizemore: 433-6030 ext. 4574 or

Burke County Parents as Teachers

Personal Visits: We have two staff members who are certified parent educators: Lora Fredrickson and Diane Jones. For qualified families in Burke County, personal visits are offered twice monthly by parent educators trained in the Parents as Teachers (P.A.T.) model in the home. This model recognizes that all families have strengths and that parents are the child's first and most influential teachers. Visits combine a hands-on activity for parent and child together in addition to informational handouts designed to promote development in language, social, motor, and intellectual areas. Children participating in personal visits receive developmental screenings annually. 

Teen Component: The teen parent component offers support to pregnant and parenting teens in and out of school. Support is offered through personal visits and group meetings by staff members utilizing the P.A.T. model. Staff members are available each week for onsite individualized visits, including referrals and consultation in each county high school.

For more information or referrals, contact:

Lora Fredrickson 828-443-1450 - serving mainly eastern Burke County including East  Burke High School and Draughn High School.

Diane Jones 828-443-0747- serving mainly western Burke County including Freedom High School, Patton High School, and Hallyburton Academy.

We Believe that a child's intellectual, social/emotional, and physical well-being begins prior to birth and that the first five years of a child's life sets the stage for optimum development.

We Believe that each child develops at an individual rate and that all children should be provided opportunities to develop their uniqueness and to reach their maximum potential.

We Believe that parents are their child's first and most important teacher.

We Believe that all families have strengths and that methods used to support families should build on family strengths.

We Believe in providing opportunities for families to establish a networking system that enhances parent to parent communication and parent and staff communication.

We Believe that effective work with families includes mobilizing community resources and creating opportunities that increase the communities' awareness of family needs and increase families' awareness of community resources.

Melanie Honeycutt,
Oct 5, 2018, 4:31 AM