Full day Pre-kindergarten becomes a
reality at 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
“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.