IMPORTANT UDATES ON 2020-2021 Screening & Registration
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children it is serious learning.”
Information and Forms:
In order to ensure social distancing and the safety of our youngest students, the District has made the decision to cancel preschool screenings/registration for the 2020-2021 school year.
As part of the reopening plan, the school has also discontinued their full day preschool programs for next year. Preschool classes will be half-day (morning and afternoon) at all locations. They will be in session 4 days per week on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and Fridays. (no Wednesdays).
Children who are currently enrolled in the program and are not age-eligible to go to kindergarten will be allowed to remain in the program. These families have been contacted by Susan Rhoads, Early Childhood Coordinator, regarding their placement for the upcoming year.
If mandates for social distancing are loosened, registration could potentially occur later in the year. Any families who have specific concerns about their child’s development may still contact Pupil Services at (413) 685-1017 to arrange for an individual screening to determine if their child requires special education services.
Preschool will start in person no earlier than September 21, 2020. Families will be notified when a definitive date has been determined.
Preschool Teachers (left to right):
Lynn Thomson, Chester Preschool
Susan Rhoads, Littleville Preschool
Stephanie Klinakis, MS/HS Preschool
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?
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= T-F 9-11:30 a.m.
Afternoon preschool = T-F 12:40-3:10 p.m.
Full day preschool= M-F 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.