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 and extra clothes.
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?
Preschool programs are located in both Huntington and Chester.
Huntington: Full day preschool at the High School and half day preschool at Littleville Elementary
Chester: Full day AND half day preschool at Chester Elementary
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) 12:30-3:00 p.m.
Full day preschool= 4 days per week (M-Th) 9:00 a.m.-3:00 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. If you have concerns outside of these times, you may contact Pupil Services at 413-685-1017 to schedule an appointment for a preschool screening.