UPK APPLICATION PROCESS
To apply for consideration in the 2016-17 UPK Program, please see "How do I apply?" below.
What is UPK?
Universal Pre-kindergarten is a developmentally appropriate, learner-centered educational program to help four year olds develop physically, socially, emotionally, linguistically, culturally and intellectually. The program has a strong emphasis on early literacy and early numeracy to help prepare children for kindergarten.
What are the program requirements?
UPK is a New York State grant funded program that is offered to parents free of charge. As UPK students, children are considered new entrants to the Williamsville Central School District. They must attend five days a week, 180 days, 2½ hours per day (either a morning or an afternoon session). Parents are responsible for the transportation of their children to and from UPK.
Parents must submit a note to their child’s teacher upon returning from an absence. There are expectations for regular attendance and prompt arrival and dismissal. Additionally, students must meet NYS immunization and mandated health requirements.
Where is the UPK program located?
The Williamsville Central School District currently collaborates with seven area pre-schools and child care centers to provide UPK services: Childtime, Doodle Bugs! Children's Center (East Amherst), Edukids at College Park, Edukids at Cross Point, Jewish Community Center Early Childhood Program, Page 1 Preschool, and Pixie Village Learning Center. If your child is currently attending one of these programs, we will attempt to keep your child at the same location for the UPK program but cannot always do so. Therefore, we cannot guarantee continued placement in your child's current preschool program if she/he is selected for the UPK program.
Is a whole day program available?
No. Williamsville’s UPK program is a half day (2½ hour program). While we currently offer the program at five sites that provide child care before and after the UPK program hours, you must make arrangements for extended care directly with the provider. Care beyond the 2-½ hour UPK program is at family expense. Only the UPK portion of the day is free of charge.
Who is eligible?
Resident children who will be four years of age by December 1st are eligible to be considered for the program. A child who is age-eligible to attend kindergarten is NOT eligible for the UPK program. Thus, if you have elected to keep your child home for an extra year rather than enroll in school when eligible, he/she can not attend UPK if five years old.
How are students selected for the program?
The total number of students selected in any given year is predicated upon the availability of the New York State funding. Currently, we have 201 students in the program. Random selection is used when there are more eligible students than can be served in a given school year. This lottery is typically held in April.
How do I apply so my four year old will be considered for UPK services?
- Call the District Registrar at (716) 626-8001 to confirm that your four year old child is included in the District census. You must do this even if you have other children enrolled in the Williamsville Schools.
- If your child is in our census, you should receive a letter and application form by March 4, to be completed and returned to the District office with a postmark date by March 31, 2016.
- If you do not receive a letter by March 13, 2016, please contact the UPK secretary, Debbie Coyne, at (716) 626-8071.
- Once you apply, your child's name will be entered into the lottery to be considered for the program. Please note: there are 201 available placements. We cannot guarantee that your child will be selected to participate in the UPK program. Those not selected will be placed on a wait list.
Our goal is to notify parents in June. However, if confirmation from the state regarding funding is delayed, notification and placement letters may also be delayed. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
Additional information about Williamsville’s UPK program is included in the Parent Handbook, and a link about registering new students is available, below. Also, you may call the Office of Student Services at (716)626-8071 to speak to the UPK secretary.