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MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS AND HILLTOP NURSERY SCHOOL ROLL OUT THE NEXT PHASE OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S NEW UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL PROGRAM

MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS AND HILLTOP NURSERY SCHOOL ROLL OUT THE NEXT PHASE OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S NEW UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL PROGRAM

Today the Manchester Township School District together with Hilltop Nursery School welcomed even more of the District’s youngest students participating in the Manchester School’s new Universal Preschool Program. The Hilltop Nursery partnership site brings about additional classrooms for up to forty-five more students participating in the new integrated preschool program being offered to Manchester families by the school district. In addition to the daily preschool component, this partnership site offers families wrap-around services in the form of before and after care for children who attend the District’s new Universal Preschool Program at Hilltop Nursery School.

“The partnership with Hilltop Nursery School, a staple in our community rooted in valued tradition, is a welcome addition to our new Universal Preschool Program,” says John Berenato, Superintendent of Schools. “Today we together opened the doors to families along with their preschool children to Hilltop Nursery School, our latest Universal Preschool partnership site.  These partnership sites enable us to further utilize the Preschool Expansion Aid (PEA) awarded to the school district and offer Universal Preschool programming to even more Manchester families while meeting the requirements set forth by the State.”

This new Universal Preschool Program provides Manchester families with integrated preschool classroom offerings for three and four-year-old students. $3M in Preschool Expansion Aid (PEA) was awarded to the district for this program.  This aid allows the School District to offer this expanded academic based preschool program to residents at no additional cost to taxpayers.  There will be no expiration of these funds because this aid expands as the preschool enrollment increases. 

“Seeing the Universal Preschool Program come to fruition after the tedious application process that was involved for Manchester to even have been awarded the Preschool Expansion Aid (PEA) from the State is truly amazing,” says Bridget Antonucci, Director of Special Services. “The District’s ability to now offer a Universal Preschool Program opens up the opportunity for all Manchester children to be provided a strong academic base from the public school system before they even enter Kindergarten.  It truly is an added value to our community as a whole.”

The Universal Preschool Program is currently offered to up to 135 of Manchester’s youngest students at all three elementary schools as well as at Hilltop Nursery, a partner nursery school site located in the Township. The program allows for dedicated classrooms and staff led by the new Preschool Director, Lori Burns, who officially joins the team this October. The same amenities offered to all District students, such as transportation to and from school as well as cafeteria options, are available. The preschool program will follow the same calendar as all other Manchester Township Schools, with the program running from 9:45am to 3:45pm daily.  All students who are accepted into the three-year-old preschool program will then be automatically enrolled and registered for the four-year-old preschool program the following year as long as they maintain residency as a Manchester resident. Information about the program, phases and dates for registration and acceptance notification can be found at the district website https://www.manchestertwp.org/resources/registration.

         This preschool program will gradually expand based on our State application over a five-year period to eventually be able to offer programming to all District three and four-year-old students. The Manchester School District continues to welcome additional partnership space within the Manchester community.  If you believe that you may have space available that can be utilized as a community partnership for the Universal Preschool Program in Manchester Township, please contact the Office of the Superintendent at 732-650-5900.  Together we can determine if your space meets the State’s requirements for a hopeful future community partnership site.