BETHEL — Crescent Park Elementary School will add two pre-kindergarten classrooms for the 2018-19 school year if the proposed budget is approved by voters June 12, Principal Elaine Ferland said.
The $11.32 million budget includes a 2.2 percent increase in local taxes, according to a budget review sent to SAD 44 voters by Superintendent David Murphy.
He said that in addition to the pre-kindergarten expansion, new expenses include an athletic trainer position, additional funding to support the district’s special education needs, an amount to help reduce the costs of laptop insurance for families, funding to support 50th anniversary events for the district and negotiated pay raises.
Both new classrooms would be at Crescent Park Elementary School because Woodstock Elementary has limited space and because having all three teachers together in the same building would allow for collaboration, Ferland said.
“Teachers can work together on curriculum and training,” she said.
Enrollment for the pre-K program is open, and with two new classrooms, the program could enroll 48 pupils.
“We hope that with 48 slots, income will not be a factor,” said Ferland, who explained that, because the program is funded partly by a grant from the state, lower-income families would have priority.
Children enrolling in the pre-K program must 4 years old by Oct. 15. The program is five days a week and students are in school all day, with 16 students per classroom and two adults.
A public budget meeting and vote will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, in the Helen Berry Auditorium at Telstar Regional Middle/High school in Bethel.
On Tuesday, June 12, a referendum to validate the amount approved on May 30 will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following polling places: Bethel, Crescent Park School; Greenwood, Jackson-Silver Legion Post; Newry Town Office and Woodstock Town Office.
A pre-K enrollment night will be held June 7 at Crescent Park Elementary School. Those planning to attend are asked to call the school at 824-2839 and make an appointment.
Preschoolers Madison Osgood, Victoria Cornett and Miley Zetts, left to right, and Cade and Shane Brown, backs to camera, study caterpillars for their Butterfly Garden lesson at Crescent Park Elementary School in Bethel recently. (SAD 44 photo)