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Our district encourages students to be active learners and thinkers to help them develop into productive members of society.

Robert Ross  

   Mullen Principal

UNIVERSAL PRE-KINDERGARTEN (UPK) REGISTRATION

ABOUT THE UPK PROGRAM

The Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program is open to district resident students who will turn four years old by Dec. 1, 2022.

UPK is a FREE half-day (2.5 hours) program sponsored by the Tonawanda City School District and funded through an annual grant with the New York State Education Department; students are accepted without cost to the family. Continued program availability is contingent upon state grant funding.

There is no tuition to attend. Parents MUST provide transportation. Morning and afternoon UPK sessions will be offered five days a week at Riverview Elementary School. A limited number of morning-only sessions at Child’s Creative Development Center (CCDC) or St. Francis of Assisi are available.

PROGRAM CRITERIA

Children must be 4 years old on or before December 1, 2022. (Children eligible for kindergarten in the 2022-2023 school year are not eligible for the UPK grogram)

Parents must provide transportation to and from the program

Children will be placed on a first come, first serve basis.  However, if more children apply than the total slots available (80), all UPK placements will be determined by lottery if necessary, to be held on the first Monday in March at 2pm.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

There is no tuition cost for the Universal Pre- Kindergarten Program (UPK).

This program is five days per week and will run 2 1/2 hours per day.

The in-district UPK program will be held at Riverview Elementary School (16 a.m. slots, 16 p.m. slots).  There are 48 slots divided between St. Francis and Child’s Creative Development Center (CCDC).  The UPK programs at St. Francis and CCDC do not follow the exact same calendar as Riverview.

UPK PROGRAM LOCATIONS & TIMES

Parents may choose location and session preferences. Placement will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis or by lottery if necessary.

Riverview Elementary School
55 Taylor Drive
Morning session: 9:15 - 11:45 a.m.
Afternoon session: 12:30 - 3 p.m.

St. Francis of Assisi School (uniform required)
70 Adam Street.
Morning session: 8:30 - 11 a.m.

Child Creative Development Center
138 Delaware Street
Morning session: 9 - 11:30 a.m.

ONLINE Registration Process

Before you begin the online registration process, please note there are five sections to complete after clicking on the link below. Each student should be registered separately and you will need to complete all five sections before being able to submit your application for review. Please be prepared to provide the following information (a valid email address is required):

  • Household Information

  • Guardian Information

  • Emergency Contacts

  • Student Information

  • Account Information

If your child has already registered through PPS for Special Services please call our office at 694-7690 ext. 1056 before beginning the online registration.

Begin the registration process.

Registration

If you are a new family or current elementary parent in the district click Online Registration. Current Tonawanda HS families that have an existing parent portal account can add your child by logging in directly.

UPK CREATES LIFELONG LEARNERS

The UPK program focuses on pre-academic skills (reading, writing and mathematical concepts) and the social skills a child will need upon entrance into Kindergarten.

Classroom learning time is open-ended and child-centered. Children learn by making independent choices and exploring the environment around them. In this way, they develop skills to become “lifelong learners.”

This is a"big step" forward and an exciting time for you and your little one! While stepping into a school for the first time is filled with lots of wonderful new experiences for your child, for some kids, it can also be a little scary because it's new. With this in mind, below are some tips that will help you establish new routines, calm first-day jitters, and prepare your child for the first day of UPK

  1. Before school begins, if you can, visit the classroom together at least once, preferably when other children and your child's future teacher(s) are there. This will help familiarize him with his new school and learning environment, and help ease the "fear of the unknown." If you can't go into the school or classroom, drive or walk to the school and show your child where the school is located. You might also consider taking a walk around the neighborhood to familiarize your child with his new school surroundings.

  2. Be sure to talk about school with enthusiasm at home in the days and weeks leading up to the first day, and as the first days and weeks unfold. Try to avoid the temptation to say things like "There's nothing to be afraid of," and instead, help calm her fears with information about what preschool will be like and how her days will unfold with new teachers and classmates.

  3. Read books about going to preschool. There are so many wonderful stories about characters who go to school for the very first time. Use stories to help prompt lots of conversation about what preschool will be like, talk about the characters' feelings about going to school for the first time, and share observations from the story about the preschool experience. Reading books and sharing stories about what you enjoyed about school will help your child mentally prepare for what his new experiences will be like.

Here are some books about starting school your child may enjoy:
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?
The Kissing Hand
Clifford's First School Day
First Day Jitters

4. Adjust routines early. Talk about the new school routine: what time you'll be getting up and going to school, who your child's teacher is and who will be in the classroom, what time the day ends, and who will be there to pick her up each day. Try getting your kids back into a routine at least a week ahead of time. Kids need time to adjust to new morning and bedtime routines. Make a chart that outlines the few things they will need to do each day before leaving for school: wake up, have a healthy breakfast, get dressed, wash up, brush their teeth, and pack their backpacks. Kids like to know what to expect, and they thrive on routines.

5. Plan a short goodbye ritual. Before you drop your preschooler off on day one, plan out a ritual for saying goodbye so he knows what to expect. (The Kissing Hand mentioned above is a wonderful story that offers up a goodbye ritual I used every day with my boys when they were starting school. They loved it!) Children have a harder time with lingering goodbyes, so try to keep it personal, positive, and short. Be sure to also remind them that you (or your caregiver) will be there to pick them up every day.