RCSD Begins Planning for Pre-K in 2024-2025

RCSD Begins Planning for Pre-K in 2024-2025
Posted on 12/19/2023

We are thrilled to share some good news with our families regarding an important development in our district. As part of our commitment to grow in our role as a cornerstone of the community, we are pleased to announce that the Rhinebeck Central School District has begun the process to introduce its first pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) classroom in the 2024-2025 school year.

Quick Takeaways - Read on below for more 

  1. The Pre-K recommendation was made at the December 12th Board of Education meeting, a video of that meeting is available on the RCSD website, Board of Education tab. Review a sample of slides from the Board Meeting here: Pre-K Recommendation 
  2. The program will begin as a pilot, to be reviewed in January 2025, and for the first year of the program it will have capacity of 18 students. 
  3. The District will be issuing a request for proposals from community-based pre-K providers to operate a program in our school building, and simultaneously is making plans for a fully District-operated program. A final determination of operational model will be made by March, 2024. 
  4. New York State is incentivizing school Districts to begin pre-K programs by providing funds to offset costs, projected to be around 50% of the operating cost. Implementation of the program is contingent on a successful School Budget vote in the Spring. 

This initiative is the result of feedback we received during our Listening and Learning sessions in the Spring of 2022 and through a feasibility study conducted by the Board of Education Strategic Planning committee this Fall. As part of the process, we have explored approaches and implementation models that are possible for New York State Pre-K programs.

The timing for this initiative aligns perfectly with our Strategic Plan to improve access and equity, and was linked directly to our 2023 district goal to study the feasibility of pre-kindergarten for the upcoming schoolyear. Additionally,  New York State has provided financial support to expand pre-kindergarten access across the state, making it an opportune moment for us to embark on this new venture at this time.

Our pre-kindergarten program will be a full day program aligned with best practices, including the value of play, and will accommodate up to 18 students. We know that early childhood education plays a crucial role in laying the foundation for future academic success for all students. We also know that finding early educational experiences for young learners has been a challenge in our community. As such we are committed to creating this program to help increase capacity and access so that each child receives a strong start to their educational journey.

As we embark on this exciting endeavor, we will keep you informed about the progress of the pre-kindergarten program. We are dedicated to working closely with our families to make this transition as smooth and positive as possible for both students and parents.

We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to the positive impact that this pre-kindergarten program will have on the educational experience of our students and on our community as a whole.