Screening and Registration Information
2021-2022 School Year
Per a new DESE mandate, masks will be required for all students and any adults inside the school. Although not specifically included in the mandate, the preschoolers will also wear masks which will allow them to work on social skills, engage in cooperative play and participate in interactive group times. They will be able to remove their masks for snack, recess, lunch and rest time. Children must have a note from a doctor exempting them from this mandate; a parent's note will no longer suffice.
The first day of preschool will be Wednesday, September 8, 2021.
All preschool programs are currently full. You may email Susan Rhoads at email@example.com if you have any specific questions regarding the program or would like to add your child to the waiting list.
The school provides all of the art supplies, etc. for the children but each child will need a backpack. Your child's teacher will let you know if they also need a lunch box.
The preschool is always thankful for donations of Lysol wipes, tissues, liquid hand soap, paper towels ziplock bags, and/or play-doh.
Information and Forms:
Please note that the handbook has not been completely updated for the 2021-2022 school year. Some information may change slightly.
Chester Preschool: Lynn Thomson,
Littleville Preschool: Susan Rhoads
MS/HS Preschool: Laura Bryant
Early Childhood Coordinator: Susan Rhoads
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children it is serious learning.”
F.A.Q.'s : Gateway Preschool Frequently Asked Questions
1. How old does my child need to be?
Children need to be 3 years old on or before September 1st. Children need to be 4 years old on or before September 1st to be eligible for the full day preschool.
Children with documented disabilities can begin attending on their 3rd birthday regardless of when it occurs.
2. Does my 4 year old automatically get a full day slot?
No. Assuming that there are more applications than openings, a lottery is held to fill the full day slots; three year olds are not placed in the full day lottery. A child on an IEP may be eligible for full day preschool before their 4th birthday if their disability warrants it.
3. If my child is already enrolled in 1/2 day preschool do I get preference to be in the full day preschool?
No. Full day classrooms are filled via a lottery for both current and potential students.
4. What if my child doesn't get a space in the preschool?
Your child will be placed on a wait list for the duration of one school year. You will need to complete an updated screening/registration to be entered into the lottery for the next school year.
5. Do I need to live in the district?
Yes. School Choice does not apply to preschool. Families are asked to provide proof of residency that they live in Huntington, Montgomery, Russell, Middlefield, Blandford, or Chester.
6. Does my child need to be toilet trained?
Although it is highly preferred, children are not required to be toilet trained.
If your child is not completely toilet trained you will need to supply an ample supply of diapers/pull-ups in addition to wet wipes.
7. What is the cost?
The preschool is tuition free; there is no cost to attend.
8. Is there bussing available?
No. Parents are responsible for providing transportation for their child(ren) to and from preschool. Children who have an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may be eligible to receive bussing to and from preschool as part of their program only when their documented disability requires specialized transportation. This decision must be made by Team decision and approved by the Director of Pupil Services and reflected in a child’s active IEP.
9. Is childcare available before and after preschool?
There are “wrap around” programs located at both Chester and Littleville Elementary. Children must be toilet trained to attend Wrap Around. Before and after school care is offered for a fee; all arrangements must be made directly with this unrelated program.
10. Where are the preschools located?
Historically, the half day preschool programs are located at Littleville Elementary.
There is a full day preschool located in the High School.
There is a full day preschool program located at Chester Elementary. Three year old children on IEPs placed at Chester will attend for only a 1/2 day unless their IEPs states otherwise.
11. What are the hours?
Morning preschool= 4 days per week (M-Th) 9:00-11:30 a.m.
Afternoon preschool = 4 days per week (M-Th) 12:40-3:10 p.m.
Full day preschool= 4 days per week (M-Th) 9:00 a.m.-3:10 p.m.
12. What if I have concerns about my child's development?
The district conducts preschool screenings on a routine basis to assess a child's development in fall and spring. You may contact Pupil Services at 413-685-1017 to schedule an appointment for a preschool screening.