A state grant will allow Harford County Public Schools to continue full-day prekindergarten programs at three elementary schools for the 2018-2019 school year, the district announced Wednesday.
The Maryland State Department of Education's Division of Early Childhood awarded the county a $859,248 grant to continue the programs at Deerfield Elementary School, Magnolia Elementary School, and William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School.
Parents or guardians with children who will be four years old by Sept. 1 and who live within those sending districts can visit the school's office during business hours to apply for the opportunity to attend the full-day pre-K. Children who meet the age requirement will be automatically enrolled if they are from an economically disadvantaged background (such as being eligible for free or reduced price meals), or are homeless or in foster care. For those who don't meet such requirements, enrollment will be based on space and prioritized criteria. Letters of acceptance for those students will be mailed in mid to late August.
Students who attend will participate in learning experiences that help develop basic educational skills, as the goal of the program is to address literacy, cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs of young children through a theme based curriculum. Teachers will retain open lines of communication with parents so they can be informed and involved with their child's development.