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Johnstown will offer full-day pre-K program

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown School District is moving from half-day prekindergarten to a full-day program for the 2021-2022 school year.

According to a district news release, this marks the first time in the district’s history that a full-day prekindergarten program has been offered to the Johnstown area community.

Officials said the application deadline is Wednesday, June 16. A Pre-K lottery will be held on Thursday, June 17.

The release said the Johnstown district was recently approved by New York state to transition from half-day prekindergarten to a full-day program for the 2021-22 school year. The district will be able to accommodate 36 students in the full-day program with two dedicated classrooms containing 18 students each at the Knox Building.

The district is also applying for a pre-K extension grant to fund a third full-time pre-K classroom. If approved, an additional 18 students will be able to join the program in January 2022. This marks the first time in the district’s history that a full-day prekindergarten program has been offered to the community.

“This is a very important step for us to take, as we look to build and strengthen pre-K offerings for our district’s youngest learners,” said Nicole Panton, district director of curriculum and instruction. “The addition of full-day prekindergarten brings many benefits to our students and their families, including more schedule flexibility for families with working parents. Most importantly, our pre-K students will have a solid academic foundation that will help them be more prepared to start kindergarten.”

In addition to the current 36 available full-day slots, Johnstown will also house a full-day Head Start program at the Knox Building next year for up to 16 eligible students.

Head Start will conduct a recruitment program this summer.

Enrollment information will be communicated by Head Start and GJSD in the coming weeks.

To be eligible to apply for the pre-K program in the Johnstown district, children must reside in the school district and be at least four years old on or before Dec. 1, 2021. Completed pre-K applications must be received by the district by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16. If you have already submitted an application for half-day pre-K, you do not need to resubmit an application for the full-day program.

If more than 36 prekindergarten applications are received, the State Education Department requires the district to hold a lottery to ensure equal access and opportunity for all families. The district’s pre-K lottery will be conducted by district administrators at the Knox Building at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, if needed. Once the lottery is completed, families will be informed in writing as to the status of their child’s application.

Those who do not receive a lottery placement or who apply after the lottery date will be placed on a waiting list. Waiting list placement will be based on the date the application was received.

Pre-K application packets may be printed from the district website – (https://www.johnstownschools.org/about-us/forms/) – picked up at the main office at Pleasant Avenue Elementary School; or, requested by emailing the GJSD School Registrar (registration@johnstownschools.org.

Questions regarding pre-K may be directed to the district office (518) 762-4611 or Pleasant Avenue Elementary School (518) 762-8610.

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