School Superintendent Pedro Garrido stated at the October 2nd Board Of Education (BOE) meeting that the Roselle Park School District (RPSD) was approved to receive Preschool Education Expansion Aid (PEEA).
Although the school district requested $594,765, the New Jersey Department Of Education (NJDOE) awarded $515,463. At a breakdown of $13,217.00, the plan will cover 39 students. The previous amount calculated to 45 students.
“We will begin the work – hard work – to make sure that we have a very thorough plan in place,” Mr. Garrido stated, “I am meeting with the team to come up with a plan which I will send to the board and then obviously pending board approval on the 16th we can continue with moving forward for a January 2nd start.”
He reiterated that the program will only be open for four-year-old students and will not include three-year-olds which were an option of the grant. The school board opted to limit the plan to the older age group due to – at that time – what the district perceived would be an issue with space. In August when it was first introduced to the public, the district thought that every student who enrolled would have to be accepted and there was limited space in the school district to accommodate an estimated 80 new students. Also at that time, there were talks with the Community Preschool on East Grant Avenue to provide instruction in partnership with the district. It was later realized that enrollment could be limited through a lottery system.
Currently, there are families that pay to have their children in the school district general education pre-school program. Addressing that, the school superintendent continued, “Those who are presently enrolled will get preference. Part of the grant is that any money that was paid to this point will be reimbursed and after that, it will be free tuition for pre-school students. I believe this is going to certainly benefit our community but more so our students as they move forward with our education system. I will report on the 16th with a full plan.”
Mr. Garrido stated that the program would only be for full-day pre-kindergarten but the letter from NJDOE stated ‘the district indicates that it will serve 30 full day general education preschool children and 18 half day general education preschool children in 2018-2019’.
The superintendent remarked that a plan will be provided to the school board by the 16th and then to the public.
Funding by the state is contingent upon the BOE approving the program through a resolution, which is set to be voted on at the October 16th BOE meeting since the deadline to submit it is October 31st.
The October 16th BOE meeting will be at EJF/Aldene Elementary School at 7 p.m.
A copy of the letter from NJDOE is included below:
Download OCtober 1, 2018 PEEA NJDOE Correspondence