FULTON – The Fulton City School District still has openings for preschool students in its Universal Pre-Kindergarten program for the current 2015-2016 school year.
The UPK program will start registration for the following school year (2016-17) in March.
For all UPK participants, the enrolled student must turn four years old before December 1 of that school year.
For example, parents looking to enroll their student for this school year, the child must have turned four before December 1, 2015.
Similarly, for next school year, the child may begin UPK staring in September if they turn four before December 1, 2016.
A child that begins UPK this school year will still expect to move forward to kindergarten for the following school year.
Supported by Oswego County Opportunities, the Fulton YMCA, First Step Universal Pre-K, and Pinnacle the district has UPK classrooms at each of the four elementary schools.
Students attend the pre-school program five days a week for half day programs, either attending a morning or afternoon class.
Parents are able to request their preferred location and time based on first come, first serve registration requests.
Students are placed in classrooms based first off their parent’s request for location and time. If no specific request is made, the student will be placed in the elementary school where they would attend kindergarten.
According to the UPK brochure as provided by Fulton City School District Director of Universal Pre-K, Carri Waloven, the preschool program features common core aligned language and literacy development, physical development, social and emotional development and field trip experiences.
The program’s mission statement reads as follows, “The Fulton City School’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program strives to create a caring community of learners in which adults support children by providing opportunities for social, cognitive, linguistic, emotional and physical development. All program environments shall embrace cultural diversity, and reflect anti-biased approach. Our commitment is to foster experiences that will positively impact all life long learning.”
“Our goal is to provide an early education experience for all four year olds in our community,” said Waloven in a flyer promoting UPK.
Continuing, Waloven says in the flyer, “Increasing learning opportunities and supporting young children’s development in early childhood education is important to ensure that all children can enter kindergarten prepared to learn and succeed in elementary and secondary schools. Research over time shows that the negative effects of poverty can be reduced by participation in high quality early childhood programs. These research findings motivate our school district to be persistent year after year to provide this opportunity for our community.”
The UPK program is entirely grant funded through the NYS Education Department and is available to Fulton community families for no cost.
However, the program does not provide transportation and those arrangements would need to be made for students as the parent’s responsibility.
To reserve a spot in a UPK classroom, parent’s need to complete a UPK registration packet to submit along with the child’s birth certificate, and proof of residency.
Proof of physical and immunization records are required before the start of the school year, but not necessary to reserve a spot in the classroom.
Forms for registration can be picked up and submitted at the Fulton Education Center located at 167 S.Fourth St.
To gather more information or download a registration form online, visit the district website here.