UNIVERSAL PRE-K BEGINS AT NORTH SHORE CSD
North Shore Welcomes Our Youngest Vikings as Universal Pre-K Begins for the First Time
History was made at the North Shore School District on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, as Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Chris Zublionis, and Interim Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Dr. CarolAnn Smyth, along with Glen Head Principal Dr. Peter Rufa, Interim Sea Cliff Principal Megan McCormack, and members of the North Shore Board of Education happily welcomed our youngest Vikings to the first day of Universal Pre-K (UPK). Three classes of approximately 15-18 students joined teachers from SCOPE at Glen Head Elementary, Sea Cliff Elementary School and the Glen Cove YMCA. Students participating in the North Shore Pre-K program were determined by a universal lottery that took place in December 2022.
“We now added a 14th grade!” Welcome to our youngest Vikings and their families,” said Superintendent, Dr. Chris Zublionis. “Funding for Universal Pre-K was provided by a New York State Education grant from the Office of Early Learning and the Office of State Aid. The grant gave the district approximately $5,400 per pre-K student. It was awarded to the North Shore School District last Spring 2022, along with several other neighboring districts.”
SCOPE Education Services is a non-profit organization founded in 1964 which provides educational services to school districts in the state. SCOPE organizes pre-K programs for numerous districts throughout New York, in addition to running sports and scholastic programs throughout the year.
Interim Principal Ms. Megan McCormack said, “We welcomed our first UPK program this week and it was an incredible experience. The classroom was filled with Pre-K students who happily attended a full day. The class will follow the school schedule, including the lunch menu, before-care, and after-care. They are already a valuable part of our school community.” She added, “Our youngest students have met new friends and have had a few visits and welcomes from our oldest students! We are so excited to have the program at Sea Cliff School.”
“It was an amazing experience to welcome our youngest Vikings to Glen Head School on February 1st”, said Principal Dr. Peter Rufa. “In just a few days, they are already embodying our shared values. They are collaborating with each other in hands-on learning experiences, communicating their observations, and demonstrated that they are committed individuals by walking into their new classroom with confidence and pride." He added, "The entire school has welcomed our new Vikings with open arms, and they were even treated to an impromptu performance by our 5th grade Chorus! I look forward to watching them grow in so many ways over the coming months and partnering with their families!"
Many thanks to everyone who helped implement this historic UPK at the North Shore Schools including the leadership and support of the Board of Education, the Central Office administration, principals, along with our dedicated faculty and staff. Pre-K is a time where our youngest Vikings will now be able to integrate in our schools with children their own age and develop important learning and social skills. They will also have the opportunity to meet older students and become a part of the school community. All these valuable experiences will benefit each child so that they can learn and grow - academically, socially, and emotionally - now and in the future.
Superintendent Dr. Zublionis concluded by saying, “We recently heard that the Governor’s budget has included Universal Pre-K for the upcoming 2023-24 school year. We will begin the universal lottery much earlier this year in March 2023 to begin the enrollment process in preparation for a full year of UPK at the North Shore School District beginning in September 2023. More information will be forthcoming.”
Welcome to our youngest Vikings and our UPK families. We are so happy that you are now part of the North Shore Schools! Good luck in the 2022-23 school year!
More photos to come!
Article and most photos by Shelly Newman