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, with birthdays between 12-2-16 and 12-1-17 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.   For the 2021-2022 school year, the program is being held at the following preschool sites in Orchard Park: Eggert Elementary, EduKids, YMCA, and Doodle Bugs.  

    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.  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 - March 5 for the following school year.  Completed applications, including all necessary registration documentation are due by March 5, 2021. The deadline has been extended to March 26 to have your Registration complete.  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 March 5th.  The deadline has been extended to March 26 to have your Registration complete.
           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 or awoodward@opschools.org 
    Registration Questions the Central Registrar at (716) 209-6325