Johnsburg Head Start numbers too low, may be dropped

Pre-K numbers are up

— It’s likely the Head Start Program will not be offered in Johnsburg during the 2012-2013 school year because of an insufficient number of eligible children, Superintendent Michael Markwica told the Board of Education on Tuesday, May 29.

Eighteen children are needed for the program to be sustainable, Markwica said. Based on projections, it will be difficult to attain the needed number of children. Markwica advised those who are interested in placing their children in a Head Start program to contact the Head Start office. Placement in the Chestertown or Warrensburg programs may be possible, he said.

On the upside, Markwica told the board that the pre-K program projects have about 25 children enrolling. The large number will necessitate offering a morning and an afternoon session, each about two hours and 40 minutes in duration. Markwica said that length of class is tight but will afford sufficient time to incorporate all of elements of the program.

Board member Mark Richards asked how it will be determined which children are in which session. Markwica said that on the enrollment form there will be a place to indicate a preference. If too many families want their children in one session or the other, and it becomes unbalanced, a lottery system will be employed to determine which children get the most requested session.

Markwica said that assessment scores indicate that the pre-K program in the district is doing a good job in preparing children for kindergarten and he’s optimistic that trend will continue under the proposed two-session format.

In other news, board members had a “first reading” of three policy statements that they are considering adopting. The policies were drafted with the help of BOCES and are designed to update the district’s policy manual. The three policies are all inter-related and are as follows: “The Dignity for All Students Act,” “Code of Conduct on School Property” and “Civility, Citizenship and Character Education-Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education.”

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