‘A true win’

Cinnaminson schools will get $290,280 in preschool expansion aid

Courtesy of the Cinnaminson Township School District
The state aid will initially finance 827 additional seats for students, with the eventual goal of free, full-time preschool.

The Cinnaminson school district is one of 16 additional state school systems to get preschool expansion aid.

The district is set to receive $290,280, which officials said will create a path for the district to offer full-day preschool. The current model includes two sections of tuition-based, part-time preschool. Under the guidelines of the expansion grant, existing students will transition to full time on May 1 and tuition will be returned to families.

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Moving forward, classrooms funded with preschool expansion aid money will also be free and full-time.

Gov. Phil Murphy was joined by Acting Commissioner of Education Kevin Dehmer to announce the aid last month. The funding is expected to provide 827 additional seats for children to access high-quality preschool.

This second round of preschool funding for fiscal year 2024 builds on the $25-million investment announced in October that provides for an additional 1,715 preschool seats in 26 school districts.

High-quality preschools are full-day programs that have a certificated teacher and aide, limited class size, curriculum aligned to the New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards and are inclusive of special needs children, according to state officials.

“Access to early-childhood education helps set the tone for the rest of a child’s educational career by providing innumerable benefits that will follow young learners throughout their lives,” Murphy emphasized.

Superintendent of Schools Stephen M. Cappello said the district is “excited to start the process of bringing a comprehensive preschool program to all families in Cinnaminson. The governor’s announcement,” he added, “is a true win for our district and families.

“We look forward to working with our community to help bring universal pre-K to fruition.”

Preschool expansion aid for the current school year and for 2024-’25 will fund two integrated preschool classrooms at Memorial School. The district’s implementation plan calls for additional classes in subsequent years, as the district grows to accommodate the anticipated population of more than thirty 3- and 4-year-olds.

“Research confirms that access to quality, early-childhood education pays dividends throughout students’ educational careers and lives,” noted board President Laura Fitzwater. “We expect both an immediate impact in our community as well as many years of prolonged benefits.”

The district will provide the community with periodic updates on preschool expansion as the board finalizes the long-range implementation plan.


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