NEWTON, NJ—Newton will be expanding the preschool program and reducing costs for many as well. The district has received $867,954 in additional aid from the New Jersey Department of Education for the 2018-2019 school year, according to Newton Superintendent Ken Greene.
According to Greene, the funding will allow free, full-day preschool for 66 Newton families. Many of these general education students are already pay tuition to attend a half-day program in Newton or at two private preschools; Project Self-Sufficiency and First Impressions.
Greene said the funding will also allow 45 special needs students to attend a full day program. They currently attend a free half day program at Merriam Avenue School.
Newton’s expanded preschool program will begin no later than January 2, 2019, according to Greene.
“This is an incredibly important opportunity for Newton families,” Greene said. “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.”
Business Administrator Dr. Alfred Savio, Special Services Director Jennifer Pasquall and Merriam Avenue School’s principal, Kevin Stanton were all credited by Greene as having put the aid application package together.
According to Greene other local programs have expressed an interest in partnering with the Newton school district to all for a further expansion of the preschool program for the 2019-2020 school year.
NORWESCAP’s Head Start/Early Head start and other local entities that currently offer preschool opportunities for Newton residents may join the initiative next year.
Greene also wanted to acknowledge the United Way of Northern New Jersey for their support and for advocating for early childhood education throughout the region.
According to Greene, the district plans to apply for additional preschool funding for the 2019-20 school year to provide preschool for as many students as possible.