PLYMOUTH - It’s not too soon for parents of young children to be thinking of enrolling them in pre-kindergarten for next year.
Barbara Trinks, director of pupil personnel and special education, said lottery applications are already available for the 2017-18 school year.
The school district’s pre-kindergarten is located at the Early Learning Center at Plymouth Center Elementary School. It has a morning and afternoon session, for 3- and 4-year-olds. Trinks said a child has to be three years old as of Jan. 1, 2018, to be eligible to participate.
“We are looking at have some full-day options, but we are also suggesting people choose an a.m. or p.m. session in case that doesn’t come through,” Trinks told the Board of Education recently.
“It’s an integrated program, including students with and without disabilities,” she said, based on the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards.
Trinks said anyone who wants a lottery application, can contact her office at 860-314-8003, and ask to speak to Melody O’Loughlin, who will forward the application.
Applications will also be available during kindergarten registration at Plymouth Center and Fisher elementary schools, she said, “because often parents have one little one who is going off to school and another little one that would like to also go off to school.”
The deadline for submitting the lottery application is Friday, March 31, at 4 p.m., with the lottery scheduled for Friday, April 7. Trinks said the winning families will be notified shortly after that.
Jennifer Parsons, director of curriculum and instruction, said last fall the pre-kindergarten program was recently awarded a $75,000 Smart Start state grant, which would allow the program to make improvements to the facilities and open up 18 slots for a free full-day pre-kindergarten program.
Parsons said the program is still waiting for the money and more details to come through. A representative from the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood will be coming to town soon to answer questions and there will be a meeting for new grantees in May, she said.
The program will also include students with and without disabilities in the same classroom, similar to the rest of the district, she said. “So we’re looking to see how we can recruit for that lottery, because the grant is intended to reach students who might not otherwise be able to access preschool.”
“We wish we had more to share right now, but we’re working on it,” she concluded.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.