The New Jersey Department of Education has approved the Newton Public Schools to expand its preschool program. The district’s successful, competitive application for 2018-19 state aid is in the amount of $867,954 for free, full-day preschool for up to 66 Newton families. The majority of these general education students are already enrolled in the district’s current tuition-based, half-day program or with two private providers that will be partnering with the district on expansion -- Project Self-Sufficiency and First Impressions. An additional 45 students with special education needs will also move to a full-day program.
Newton Superintendent Dr. Greene stated, “This is an incredibly important opportunity for Newton families. The research is clear: children who attend high quality preschool acquire critical literacy skills sooner and end up achieving at higher levels than those who do not.”
Dr. Greene acknowledged Business Administrator Dr. Alfred Savio, Special Services Director Jennifer Pasquali, and Merriam Avenue School Principal Kevin Stanton as key staff members who assisted in preparing the state aid application.
Although they are not part of this year’s initiative, NORWESCAP’s Head Start/Early Head Start and other local entities do provide preschool opportunities for Newton residents. The United Way of Northern NJ has also played an important role in supporting and advocating for early childhood education throughout the region.
Newton’s expanded preschool will become operational no later than January 2, 2019. The district plans to apply for additional preschool funding for the 2019-20 school year to service as many students as possible. Click here for an FAQ sheet on Preschool Education Expansion Aid from NJDOE.