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The Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education is considering extending the day for their universal pre-K four-year old program. The program, offered morning and afternoon, three or five days a week, open only to school district residents in the universal pre-K program, would carry a fee, while the pre-kindergarten program is free to school district residents. The target date to begin would be September 2009. A presentation was made at the March 3 board of education meeting and the proposal was scheduled to be brought back for a decision at the March 16 board meeting.

Parkville School Principal Debbie Shalom reviewed the program, as the school district's pre-school programs are housed at the Parkville School in New Hyde Park. Ms. Shalom said that the district is considering this option as so many mothers today are in the work force and that "the state of the economy has impacted on our Great Neck community as well." She noted that following their morning or afternoon at the district's pre-K program, many of the students are then bused to day care centers or other local facilities to accommodate these working families.

Ms. Shalom said that she has had many requests for such a program.

The Fun for Fours would allow the morning students the opportunity to extend their day from 12:45 to 3:30 p.m. As well, the afternoon students would have the option of an additional 9:15 a.m. to noon program. These optional programs would be offered either three or five days a week.

Ms. Shalom stated that: "By participating in the Fun for Fours program at Parkville, children would be provided with the opportunity to remain in a secure, comfortable, and constant environment. Children would benefit from enrichment activities through play and exploration of the world around them."

As for transportation, parents would provide transportation for the a.m. Fun for Fours program and these same students would receive transportation home from the afternoon universal pre-K program. Universal pre-K morning students would receive transportation to school, but parents would need to provide transportation home at the end of the p.m. Fun for Fours program.

Projected tuition is $2200 for three days per week, and $3600 for five days per week.

This Fun for Fours program was described as an "enrichment program" which would include: discovering nature, exploring water, and building structures.

At this point, it is anticipated that space limitations would only accommodate 18 students in the a.m. section. The district is also considering the possibility of an extended day for p.m. children.


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