CONSIDERATIONS FOR PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING
- Eligible agencies shall mean a provider of child care and early education which meets the UPK standards and requirements.
- Eligible child means a resident 4 year old, who is 4 on or before December 1st of the year prior to Kindergarten entry.
- The UPK Program Plan is approved by the Board of Education and is designed to serve eligible children through the school district and its eligible agencies.
- The curriculum must ensure strong instructional content aligned with K-12 and NYS
- The UPK Program must provide early literacy and emergent reading instruction.
- Assessment is required for establishing children’s developmental baseline and evaluating
on-going student progress.
- Instructional materials and equipment need to be arranged in learning centers that promote a balance of teacher initiated and child-initiated activities.
- All UPK enrollees must be screened as new entrants as set forth in the PART 117 of the Regulations of the Commissioner.
- The maximum class size is 20 children, with one teacher and 2 para-professionals. For classes with 18 and under, one para-professional is required.
- UPK teachers must have a teaching license or certificate for students in early grades or students with disabilities in early grades.
- If collaborating agency teachers are not certified they must hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood, or a related field, along with a written plan to obtain certification within 5 years.
- Teachers in collaborating agencies who do not hold certification must be supervised by an
on- site certified teacher.
Program Design and Oversight
- The District is responsible for fiscal and program oversight and student progress in all settings.
- Professional development must be based upon instructional needs of students. The District is required to ensure that UPK staff in all settings receive quality professional development.
- The program must be designed to promote and increase the inclusion of students with disabilities in UPK settings.
- The District must have procedures to ensure active parent engagement in education of their children.
- The District must provide support services for UPK children and families directly or through referral and coordination to avoid duplication.
- The program must be designed to ensure children with limited English proficiency have equal access to the program and opportunities to achieve the same goals as other enrolled children.
- School Districts must develop a plan to select students on a random basis where there are more children than available UPK slots.
- Programs may be either full day or half day and must operate five days per week, a minimum of 180 days per year.
- Districts must collaborate a minimum of 10% of the grant to provide an instructional program for UPK students in eligible agencies.
- Districts must select eligible agencies through a competitive process. Subsequently, a contract between the District and CBO is developed.
- A variance from the 10% collaboration can be granted when there are no available, willing or eligible agencies for which to contract with.
- The District is responsible for ensuring program quality across all UPK settings.
Action Steps for Implementation
- Board of Education Approval;
- Design Program;
- Establish Collaborations (including Request for Proposals (RFP) to select providers);
- Develop Contract(s) with selected providers;
- Recruitment of Children;
- SED Application/Approval;
- Selection/Placement of Children;
- Screenings or 4-year-olds as new entrants;
- Implementation of program;
- Monitoring and oversight of programs in all settings
April 25, 2011