Full list: Prekindergarten classrooms available at 18 public schools this fall
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A new program developed jointly by the
governor's Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) and the Hawaii State
Department of Education (DOE) will allow families to
enroll their 4-year-old children in one of 21 prekindergarten classrooms at 18
public elementary schools across the state this fall.
The program is intended to serve 420 children who qualify based on
income (eligible for free- and reduced-price meals) and age requirements. For
the 2014-2015 school year, children must be 4 years old on or before by July
31, 2014 – following the new kindergarten age requirement – and priority will
be given to children born on or between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009.
This is the
first time Hawaii has designated state funds for prekindergarten education,
joining 41 other states that already do. The Legislature provided $3 million in
the supplemental budget for only 21 of the 32 classrooms requested by the
Abercrombie Administration. The majority of the
classrooms are located on the neighbor islands and in rural areas.
"We are on
our way to creating access to early learning for our children statewide," Gov.
Neil Abercrombie said. "This partnership between my Executive Office on Early
Learning and the DOE is an important part of our vision to prepare as many
4-year-olds as possible for kindergarten. It is a key component of the
mixed-delivery system of public and private providers that has worked for many
states, and that I believe is best for the future of Hawaii's keiki."
Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said, "The Department of Education fully
supports any initiative that encourages families to give their children a solid
foundation for their learning. Providing a quality early learning experience
for our youngest students is vital to their academic success later in life."
closely with DOE to create the infrastructure for the program and will provide
the support needed to ensure that children leave the
program with the skills needed to be successful in kindergarten. Classrooms will be staffed by DOE teachers and educational
assistants. EOEL will offer early childhood education and development expertise
definite progress for Hawaii," said EOEL Director GG
Weisenfeld. "It is a systematic approach to
ensuring high-quality early childhood education with dedicated funding and
professional development support. It also puts us in a good position to
qualify for federal funding. All of this means more opportunities and better
outcomes for our children."
Education Committee Chair Sen. Jill Tokuda said, "While we would have liked to
have gotten more resources to increase the number of children served statewide,
these 21 classrooms will greatly enhance our school readiness efforts in our
most rural and underserved communities."
excited to work with more families in the community," said Linapuni
Elementary Principal Cindy Sunahara. "We know these students will receive a
valuable start to their academic careers in our early learning
executive director of Hawai'i P-20 Partnerships for Education, said, "We are
very pleased about the advent of a state-funded, high-quality prekindergarten
program at the Hawaii Department of Education. This program will build upon the
work already started by several early learning sites and elementary schools to
smoothen the transition to K-12 education and beyond. Our keiki will have early
access to a solid foundation that will allow them to be college-, career- and
Selection of the classrooms was based on: Title I status, limited
preschool capacity in the community such as in rural areas, available space at
schools, currently operating DOE prekindergarten classrooms with funding that
is about to end, and the interest and willingness of principals to work with
EOEL on implementing a quality program.
Student application packets will be available at the respective
school offices. The first deadline to submit an application is May 30, 2014.
The Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL)
was established by Act 178 (passed as Senate Bill 2545) and signed into law by
Gov. Abercrombie in June 2012. The creation of EOEL provides government-wide
authority to guide the development of a comprehensive, statewide early learning
system. For more information, visit: http://earlylearning.hawaii.gov