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Universal prekindergarten to start

East Aurora schools formally have announced that a universal prekindergarten program for 4-year-olds will begin in September.

The state-funded program will provide free preschool, using the staff and facilities of qualified local preschools.

Registration for the program will run from March 15 through May 1.

Enrollment will be limited to a number to be set by the state and the preschools selected to partner in the program: First Presbyterian Preschool, East Aurora Montessori and Nativity Nursery School. Families may state an order of preference for the site they wish their child to attend, but space in their chosen school cannot be guaranteed.

To be eligible, youngsters must turn 4 by Dec. 1, live in the district and meet all medical records and immunization requirements to attend school. The parents must commit to daily attendance of five days per week, at 2.5 hours per day, following the school calendar. Parents and guardians will be responsible for getting the children to and home from school. The district will not provide transportation.

District personnel will oversee registration, accept applications and verify eligibility. A lottery system will be used if the number of applicants exceeds the available space.

Interested parents should contact Susan DiNatale, director of pupil services and special education, at 687-2312 to receive a registration packet. She headed a committee last year to study eligibility and logistics to help jump-start the program.


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