Maple Shade SD Granted Pre School Education Grant

Maple Shade SD Granted Pre School Education Grant
Posted on 10/10/2018
Maple Shade School District

It gives us great pleasure to announce that the Maple Shade School District is one of the recipients of a Preschool Education Expansion Aid Grant (PEEA) given by the State of NJ. We were awarded $1,150,560.00 to educate ninety 4-year-olds in a full day preschool program.  The participant number is only capped because of the availability of classroom space.  As many of you are aware, we are in the process of planning a referendum for a vote on December 11, 2018.  In this referendum, we included a construction project that will enable more classroom space for preschool aged students. This was planned before the PEEA grant became available as we were always hopeful that funding would become available for us to start a preschool program.   The opportunity arrived a little earlier than expected, but we are thrilled that we are able to start educating preschool children with the hope of expanding after more space becomes available with the referendum project. We were informed on October 1, 2018 that we received the grant.  One of the provisions of the grant is that we must start the program January 2, 2019. Although this is a very short amount of time to outfit six classrooms, we are up to the challenge as the benefits for this program certainly outweigh any obstacles in our path. We plan to open classrooms at both Maude Wilkins and R. J. Steinhauer Schools.  Our process includes hiring teachers and staff, selecting and registering students, outfitting classrooms, and making playground and bathrooms preschool appropriate. Creating the preschool daily schedule with start and end times and planning bus routes are in the works. In the next few weeks, our families will receive additional information on how to enroll for the lottery system for selection.  We are anticipating that more than ninety 4-year-olds are in town and ready for school. If this is not the case, we will not have to conduct a lottery and all the children signed up will have a seat in a classroom.  We have to follow the same rules the State of New Jersey has set for enrollment. Children who turned 4 before October 1, 2018, are eligible for the program in January. All current 4-year-old students in our inclusion program and our preschool disabled classrooms that meet the same age eligibility requirements will also have a full day experience. Our 3-year-olds will remain in a half day program. We will be reaching out to our current pre-school population families to invite them to a meeting to discuss changes they may see in their child’s current program and/or teacher.

This is an exciting time for all of us as a community as we expand and grow!  Even if you no longer have a preschool aged child, please tell your family, neighbors and friends that reside in Maple Shade. We appreciate your support of schools and our community.


Beth Norcia