At R’wood Event, Mayor Touts CBO Pgms.
Returning to the school where he officially launched the city’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) expansion in April, Mayor Bill de Blasio came to Ridgewood’s P.S. 239 on Tuesday, June 3, to announce online registration for UPK programs at community-based organizations (CBO).
Following a roundtable discussion with educators and parents, de Blasio told members of the press the city would begin notifying parents today, Thursday, June 5, who submitted applications for UPK seats in public schools whether or not their children were accepted.
“If you’ve ever had a child attend our public schools, then you know well the stress of navigating all the programs to find the right fit,” de Blasio said. “What we want every parent to know is that come September, there will be more options than ever for high-quality, full-day pre-K across the five boroughs. Whether your child is accepted to a public school program this week or not, there are more options-both at community facilities and at other public schools-to find the right fit.”
Parents whose children were not assigned to a public school UPK program can apply through June 20 for enrollment at UPK programs offered by CBOs such as parochial schools, youth groups and day care centers. These programs, the mayor stressed, would be held to the same educational and environmental standards as New York City public schools.
There are about 25,000 available UPK seats offered by CBOs in all five boroughs, and additional seats will be made available in the weeks to come, according to the Mayor’s office.
Though admissions will continue as late as Oct. 1, de Blasio advised parents to apply before June 26, the last day of the city’s school year, for the “best chance of finding the right” preschool program.
“Parents can apply to as many locations as they want to,” the mayor said. “The important thing is to apply, and apply now.”
Each of the public schools and CBOs offering full-day and half-day UPK are listed and mapped online at www.nyc.gov/prek. Parents can also find more information about the program by sending a text message to 877877.
During his remarks, de Blasio- as he did during his April visit with Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who was not in attendance Tuesday-praised students and educators at P.S. 239 for creating an environment that offers a “sense of family.”
“I love this school,” the mayor said. “I loved it when I visited last time. I love it this time. Something very special is happening here, and you can understand why parents want their children in this school. It is that amazing nurturing community, that sense of family. And the dedication of the professionals you see here is extraordinary.”