RPSD Still Waiting On Pre-K $600,000 Grant Application Status

The Roselle Park School District (RPSD) did not make the first round of grant awardees for the pilot free pre-kindergarten program for three- and four-year-olds from the state but, according to School Superintendent Pedro Garrido, there is still a possibility of having the school district receive the grant on October 1st.

This information is the latest in the Roselle Park School District’s (RPSD) application to provide free pre-k to four-year-olds who live in the borough. In August it was announced that the state was opening up a pilot program to select school districts that qualified to apply for free pre-k for three and four-year-olds. This program is on a year-by-year basis with no guarantee of financial support for more than one year.

The Board Of Education (BOE) made the decision to apply only for four-year-olds and was – in August – looking to partner with a private school to help accommodate the foreseen increase in the student population. At the time, the school board believed that all qualifying students who applied had to be accepted.

At the September 4th Board Of Education (BOE) meeting, the school board through School Superintendent Pedro Garrido announced that, contrary to what was originally believed and publicly announced, there could be a lottery system to limit the number of students admitted.

Additionally, it was determined that the district would be able to provide this service in-district without needing to partner with Community Pre-School, a private religious school on the corner of East Grant Avenue and Chestnut Street. When asked if accommodating up to 40 students would impact space in the elementary schools, Mr. Garrido stated that no existing space or rooms would be impacted. This was the case when the district’s current full-day kindergarten was implemented which turned the elementary school libraries into media centers.

The Roselle Park School District (RPSD) requested almost $600,000 to provide the program for that 2018-19 school year starting in January of next year.

A copy of the application to the state is available below:

Download RPSD PEEA Grant Application (September 10, 2018)