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District expands pre-K in 2022-23, registration ongoing

DCB student Tehreem Hasan shows ELC students how to count.JPGPoughkeepsie City School District’s full day pre-K program is expanding in 2022-23 to help meet the needs of the community and registration is ongoing. Visit to begin the process.

With the district’s new partner, the Boys & Girls Club of Poughkeepsie, classes will be offered at the club, 221 Smith St. and at the Early Learning Center, 372 Church St. A total of nine classes will be able to accomodate about 152 students, Director of Elementary Education Janet Bisti said.

“The Boys & Girls Club is getting licensed for five classrooms so we can expand the total number of students,” she said, adding that a second request for proposal has been put out, “so we may have even more spaces.”

Last year there was a waiting list all year for the seven classes.

Bisti said class sizes are being kept to 18 or less.

Scholastic’s “PreK On My Way” curriculum will be utilized at both locations.

“PreK teachers are working this summer to align the curriculum with state standards and training for new and existing teachers - including a bilingual specialist for the dual language program - will begin in September,” she said.

ELC Principal Nadine Elting-Dargan encourages parents of pre-K and kindergarten students to get them registered as soon as possible.

“This is my first full school year at ELC. It will be an interesting challenge to see our youngest students come in - some with no experience at school and others with very little. I’m excited to travel the journey with them,” she said.

Elting-Dargan is joined by Assistant Principal Paul Weir, who will be at the school three days per week.

New to the ELC in 2022-23 will be the pre-K/K dual language program, an Innovation Lab and an expansion of the Mindful Mornings program which helps students develop social and academic skills.

Bisti said the goal is to expand the Mindful Mornings into Mindful Afternoons as well, with hour-long sessions to reach more students.

Families new to the district are invited to the Bridges to Poughkeepsie event Aug. 13 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the athletic field across from Poughkeepsie High School, 70 Forbus St., in addition to an orientation that will take place some time in August, Bisti said.

One final note to parents and guardians on registration is that Central Registration has moved from Poughkeepsie High School to the Columbus Administration building, 18 South Perry St. Call 845-437-3480 for information.