Frequently Asked Questions about UPK

  • Orchard Park Central School District Universal Pre-Kindergarten

    Who is eligible?
    Children who reside in the Orchard Park Central School District attendance area, who will be four years old by December 1 of the year they start the program are eligible to apply for the program.

    Where is the program located?
    The Orchard Park Central School District partners with local preschool providers, known as community-based preschool school organizations, for the program.   This year, the program is being held at the following preschool sites in Orchard Park: Eggert Elementary, EduKids, YMCA, and Wee Can Preschool.  

    How are community-based preschool partners selected?
    The Orchard Park Central School District is committed to partnering with high-quality preschool providers.  Interested preschool providers undergo an extensive application process, outlining curriculum (literacy development, character development, fine & gross motor development, etc), ability to meet the needs of students with disabilities, and opportunities for parental involvement.  A site visitation is conducted, ensuring the facility meets expectations including safety, furniture & equipment, opportunity for outdoor play and literacy resources. Throughout the school year, site visitations are conducted on an on-going basis. 

    What are the obligations to families (cost, transportation, etc)?
    There is no cost for the program.  The program is paid for through a Universal Pre-Kindergarten grant.  Unfortunately, however, transportation is not included in the scope of the grant.  Transportation is the obligation of families.

    How are children selected for the program?
    If more children apply than there are available openings, there is a computerized “lottery.”  Children are randomly selected for the program.  Selection is not based on academic or economic need.  All children are equally eligible for participation.  Only 100 placements are available.  Registering for the UPK program does not guarantee you a placement.

    Can I choose the preschool site that my child attends?
    Families who apply for the program are surveyed, inquiring their rank order preference for the preschool site they wish their child to attend.  In most cases, we are able to accommodate families’ first or second choice.  If for any reason a family not satisfied with their selected preschool site and wish to withdraw their child’s name, they can be placed on a waiting list for a different site.  Should an opening later be available at their site of choice, they will be contacted.

    What is the timeline?
    Applications are accepted from December 1 - February 28 for the following school year.  Completed applications, including all necessary registration documentation are due by February 28, 2020. As soon as the school district is notified of the grant funding, we notify families as soon as possible.

    How do I apply?
    The following are required for consideration to the program and all documents must completed and submitted by February 28th. 
           Complete Online Registration Form*
           Completed Home Language Questionnaire*
           Proof of residency (two recent, valid forms are necessary)
           Birth certificate for your child
           Vaccination records

    More Questions?
    Should you have any further questions, please contact: 

    Programmatic Questions Amy Woodward (716) 209-6367
    Registration Questions the Central Registrar at (716) 209-6325