To ensure the cost of creating a new Pre-K program does not impact existing programs for K-8 students, Wynantskill UFSD will start Pre-K with one classroom in the fall.
“We want to be fiscally responsible and start slow with the hope of growing the program over time if it’s affordable,” said Superintendent Dr. Thomas Reardon. “Our Pre-K program will not be subsidized by state aid so we want to be careful of the impact to our budget so we can maintain programs for our students.”
While New York State provides some state aid for Pre-K programs, it is limited to districts with high needs. Dr. Reardon confirmed with the State Education Department that Wynantskill UFSD does not currently qualify.
The Pre-K classroom will be run by CEO Headstart, an organization that runs numerous pre-kindergarten programs locally. It was selected through a Request For Proposal process.
“We had a chance to see them in action when our Pre-K Committee did site visits. They’ve responded to all our questions and share our vision. They’re also trained to provide early childhood education and have a lot of experience in different school settings so they can adapt to our program’s needs,” said Dr. Reardon.
The Pre-K program will serve 18 students who must be 4-years-old by Dec. 1. The district is developing its selection process which is expected to start in June. The district will provide more updates as they become available.
“We know it’s later than a typical registration process but the program is dependent on the building project because that’s where the classroom will be,” explained Dr. Reardon. “We didn’t want to promise something that might not be there but we are now assured that the building project will be completed by the fall.”