Universal Pre-Kindergarten Registration Open

NEWS

Universal Pre-Kindergarten Registration Open

July 19, 2021

The Warwick Valley Central School District is pleased to offer a Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program during the 2021-22 school year. UPK is a special program funded by the New York State Education Department to provide an early learning experience for the children of WVCSD residents. Warwick Valley CSD secured 40 Pre-K slots out of the 77 authorized to attend a 5-hour per day educational program. The District is working on securing the additional 37 slots, if space becomes available. 

Here is a brief overview of the UPK program:

  • The 2021-22 program is limited to children who turn 4 years old by December 1, 2021.
  • Warwick Valley CSD is partnering with two local daycare agencies for the program – Warwick Day Care Center, located at 18 Grand Street, and The Village Childcare Services, located at 95 Kings Highway.  
  • The children attend five (5) days per week for five (5) hours each day.
  • Warwick Valley CSD cannot guarantee parents will receive their preferred choice of location.
  • The UPK program follows the School District calendar with 180 days of attendance (September – June).
  • Families would be responsible for transportation to and from the local daycare agency. 
  • The program is grant funded. Warwick Valley CSD will be using funds allocated by New York State.  There is no cost to parents.
  • There is limited availability for the program based on grant funding and program space.  This funding allows us to enroll 77 students during the 2021-22 school year. Currently, there is only available space for 40 preschoolers. If more children apply than there are available slots, the District will hold a random selection process in the form of a lottery.
  • Warwick Valley CSD will be accepting applications (Link to the Google form is below) for the 2021-22 school year from July 19, 2021, to July 23, 2021. The District will not select students on a first-come, first-serve basis. If we receive more than 40 applications, the School District will conduct a random lottery at 9:30 a.m. on July 26, 2021, at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center to determine which children will participate. Due to COVID-19, the public will not be invited to this year’s lottery.  All completed applications received by July 23, 2021, will be included in the lottery.
  • You must be a resident of the District by July 1, 2021, to be included in the lottery. 
  • Your child must be up-to-date with New York State vaccination requirements.

Current Allocation

Warwick Day Care      8 slots

The Village Childcare    32 slots

Please click here to fill out the Google form 

If selected, the following documentation will be required before your child is officially registered into the Pre-K Program:

  • Registration Form 
  • Student Health Questionnaire 
  • Health Appraisal Form 
  • Vaccination Records 
  • Proof of Residency (two current forms of proof are required)
  • Child’s Birth Certificate

Should you have any questions, please contact the Business Office at (845) 987-3000 X10521.


UPK FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Universal Prekindergarten (UPK)?

UPK is a free preschool experience made possible through a grant from the New York State Education Department (NYSED). As long as the funding remains available and the District has the human resources to coordinate the program, the District can offer the program.

Is the UPK program free?

Yes. The cost of tuition for those students chosen through a lottery selection process is paid for by the grants. There are no fees paid by the family for 5 hours per day/5 days a week.

Can the UPK grant money be allocated between all the children who sign up?

No.  The grant is required to pay for 5 hours of Universal Prekindergarten per student/5 days per week for a maximum of 77 students. The District only receives the grant money/aid based on the number of students attending a program for 5-hour per day/5 days a week.  

What days are the children off from school?

The UPK program follows the Warwick Valley Central School District Calendar.

How long is the program?

The program is 5 hours per day, Monday through Friday, for 180 days (as per the District calendar).

Is the program run by the Warwick Valley Central School District?

The program is administered by the Warwick Valley Central School District, but it is offered at community-based organizations (also referred to as “Providers”).

Who is eligible? How do I apply?

Warwick Valley Central School District children who turn 4 years of age on or before December 1, 2021 are eligible for the program. To apply, you must complete a Universal Prekindergarten Application on our website by July 23, 2021 (https://www.warwickvalleyschools.com/universal-pre-kindergarten-registration-open/). You may sign up no later than July 23, 2021. This allows proper processing for our July 26th lottery/selection process. Children who turn 5 are not eligible, as per New York State regulations.  Applications received after the due date will automatically be placed at the end of the waiting list.

If I sign up early, does that improve my child’s chance of being selected?

No.  All completed, eligible applications will be included in the lottery/selection process – one per child.  The District is accepting applications (see link above) from July 19, through July 23, 2021 for the 2021-22 school year.  This is not a first-come, first-served process.

Can all district 4-year-olds attend?

No. The amount of funding from the New York State Education Department allocated for this grant will determine how many students can be served.  Historically, there are more applicants than the number of available spots; therefore, a lottery is used in the selection process to determine who will participate. All students who are not selected during the lottery will be placed on a waiting list. If any vacancies occur during the year, they will be filled until the waiting list has been exhausted.

When will we know if the grant is going to be offered again?

As we move through the WVCSD budget process, we will know if the grant funds and our resources are sufficient to run the program next year. After the state and local school budgets have been decided, we will know if the UPK program will be offered and for how many students.

How will I know if my child has been chosen?

The lottery selection will take place on July 26th to determine which students will start the program in September 2021. The UPK Office will email ALL applicants as soon as possible after the selection process to notify parents/guardians if their child was selected or placed on the waiting list.  You will be notified via email and asked to confirm receipt of the email notification. If we do not receive confirmation from you that you received the email notification, we will attempt to reach you by phone and, finally, by a letter mailed to your home address if necessary.

If selected, which UPK Provider will my child attend?

During the application process, you will indicate your first choice out of the two UPK providers. We will place students with their first choice unless that provider is full or your child has certain medical and/or physical needs that dictate they be placed at a specific UPK Provider. If your child does not have any medical and/or physical needs and their first choice is full, we will move to the second choice or until a placement is available.

How will my child’s medical and/or physical needs affect which UPK Provider my child will attend?

If your child is selected during the lottery process and currently has any medical and/or physical needs that have been documented by a physician and we are able to meet those needs at a specific UPK Provider, your child will be placed at that provider. If your child develops any medical and/or physical needs that are documented by a physician after they have been placed at one of the UPK Providers, we retain the right to switch your child’s placement to the UPK Provider where those needs can best be met regardless of the time of year.

Can we choose the location we want our child to go to?

You can indicate on your application your first choice of the Provider you would like. We will make every attempt to accommodate your request unless your child’s medical and/or physical needs dictate which Provider they will need. We cannot guarantee placement at a specific Provider.

How does the waiting list work?

If, for any reason, a child drops out of the UPK program, the next family on the waiting list will be offered the vacant spot. If the family declines the vacancy for any reason, they will be removed from the waiting list and will become ineligible to participate in the UPK program for the 2021-22 school year.

How does the lottery process work for twins or triplets?

The lottery selection process does not give preference to families with twins, triplets, etc.  Each child is entered as an individual student and will be selected according to the lottery process.  The selection of one twin or triplet has no effect on the selection of any other siblings during the lottery selection process.

What happens if one of my twins is selected and one is placed on the waiting list?

We highly recommend that families with multiples pre-register their children at their first choice of UPK Provider for their tuition UPK program.  Most of the UPK Providers offer pre-registration in order to guarantee a child’s spot in September. If one twin is selected during the lottery process and one is placed on the waiting list, it would be up to the parents/guardians to decide if they are able and willing to pay for the other twin to attend the same UPK program. 

Can a parent pay for an eligible child to attend additional hours in the program?

All questions regarding additional hours or before-care and after-care should be addressed directly with the UPK Provider.

What if there is a custody situation regarding my child?

You must provide court documentation at time of registration.  In addition, you must notify the UPK provider. We recommend that you follow up with the UPK provider to be sure that all the proper safeguards are in place.

What if my child has a severe allergy or other serious medical condition?

A Medical History Questionnaire and NYS School Health Examination Form are required as part of the UPK application.  The UPK Nurse reviews these forms and if your child is selected you will meet with the UPK Nurse during registration. Any serious medical condition must be reported directly to the UPK Nurse and also to the UPK provider. We recommend that you follow up with the UPK provider to be sure that all the proper safeguards are in place.

What are the immunization requirements?

Children must receive all first, age/grade level appropriate doses, or overdue follow-up doses if they already received prior doses in a series, within 14 days from the first day of instruction for the school year, as well as provide evidence of age appropriate appointments for the next follow-up doses (in accordance with the ACIP schedule) within 30 days of the first day of attendance.

Is there a religious exemption for immunization requirements?

New York State no longer offers a religious exemption for immunizations.

Is there a medical exemption for immunization requirements?

Yes.  A valid medical exemption must adhere to all of the following:

  • Must be submitted on a signed, completed medical exemption form issued by NYSDOH 
  • Specify which immunizations may be detrimental to the child’s health
  • Contain sufficient information to determine if a medical contraindication to a specific immunization exists
  • Specify the length of time the immunization is medically contraindicated
  • Be reissued annually

The UPK Nurse may require additional information.

What is taught in the program?

All UPK Providers that are contracted by the District must follow the New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards and utilize the Teaching Strategies Creative Curriculum. Each Provider is permitted flexibility in how they choose to deliver the curriculum.

Does each UPK Provider have to run an identical program?

Specific teachers, lessons and special events will vary by location. However, UPK Provider selected by the Warwick Valley Central Board of Education must adhere to state and local standards.

Is transportation available?

No. Families must provide transportation for their child. It is expected that students will be dropped off and picked up at the appointed starting and ending times for their particular class. The grant pays for students to attend school for a specific amount of time each day school is in session; therefore, it is not acceptable or permissible to repeatedly drop off your child late for class or pick them up early before class ends. If you regularly do not get your child to school on time or regularly pick them up before class ends, it may jeopardize your child’s continued enrollment in the UPK program.

Is lunch provided in the full-day program?

Students in the UPK program should bring lunch to school with them each day.

Does my child need to be potty trained?

Yes.  If you have not already started to potty train your child, we highly recommend you search the internet for the PDF or the eBook “3 Day Potty Training” by Lora Jensen. There may be a fee to purchase or download this file/eBook.

If I choose to pre-register my child now and then my child is selected for UPK, what happens to the registration fee I paid when I pre-registered?

If you pre-register at one of the District’s UPK Providers and your child is selected for WVCSD UPK, the Provider will refund the registration fee you previously paid.  Conversely, if you choose to pre-register your child at a non-WVCSD prekindergarten provider and your child is selected for WVCSD UPK, it is up to that prekindergarten provider to decide whether they will refund any registration fees you paid when you pre-registered your child.

If my child is placed on the waiting list, can I still pay to send my child to a prekindergarten class?

Yes.  Please contact the prekindergarten provider directly to enroll and pay for your child to attend their independent prekindergarten program.

Are there class size limits for UPK?

The maximum UPK class size is 20 students.  Classes with 19 or 20 students require one teacher and two paraprofessionals. Classes of 18 or fewer students require one teacher and one paraprofessional.

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