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District News

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David W. Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339




Full day Pre-kindergarten becomes a reality at Fort Plain

Fort Plain among state grant recipients for full-day pre-kindergarten program

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday, Aug. 11, that Fort Plain Central School District will receive up to $327,730 in grant money to fund a full-day pre-kindergarten program that will begin this September in the Harry Hoag Elementary building.

The Fort Plain CSD is one of 81 school districts and community-based organizations that will share $340 million in full-day pre-kindergarten funding through the Statewide Universal Full-Day Prekindergarten Program. The district is among four in the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES region selected to receive grant money. Gloversville, Amsterdam and Broadalbin-Perth school districts also were among the 62 school districts outside New York City to share $40 million in state funds.

Currently, Fort Plain operates three half-day pre-kindergarten classes serving approximately 42 students each year. The grant will allow the Fort Plain district to operate two full-day pre-kindergarten classrooms. Fort Plain is partnering with the Arkell Museum, Utica Zoo, the YMCA, Red Cross, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension in the community, who will offer additional full-day pre-k programming through field trips and school visits.

“Having a full-day program will enable teachers and students to have more time to work on readiness skills,” Superintendent of Schools Douglas Burton said.

Districts had been expecting to learn if they got the funding in July but didn’t hear from Albany until 2 weeks before the start of school. Luckily, some of the legwork has already been done in anticipation. By reassigning existing staff duties, the program will be up and running for the start of school on Thursday. Currently 37 students are registered and the district is still accepting applications.

“Our goal is to provide pre-kindergarten for each family that wants to participate,” said Mr. Burton. Studies show that children who participate in high-quality early care and education programs are far more likely to read at grade level and graduate from high school. In addition, full-day pre-k programs are credited with significantly increasing student performance in math and reading, as well as decreasing the rates of grade retention.

The program will be available for free to district residents who will be 4 years old on or before Dec. 1, 2014. For more information on signing up, contact Harry Hoag Elementary at 993-4000. Free breakfast, a snack, and lunch are included in the program. Transportation will be provided in accordance with existing district policies.