City School District of Albany is expanding its prekindergarten program
to offer opportunities for 3-year-old students thanks to a new state
program that Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this year.
The district, already a regional leader in full-day prekindergarten with
more than 700 seats for 4-year-olds, will add 269 seats for 3-year-olds
as a result of the Expanded Prekindergarten grant.
The district also will add another 28 seats for 4-year-olds.
The new program, focusing on families in Albany’s highest-need
neighborhoods, will provide two years of prekindergarten connected to
age-appropriate curriculum. The program will focus on developmental
components and academics aligned with Common Core Learning Standards in
kindergarten through second grade, said Superintendent Marguerite Vanden
“We’ve raised the standards for student learning, and many of our
families don’t have access to the programs or resources that will help
their children be ready for success when they start kindergarten,” Dr.
“This will help prepare more of our youngest learners for the school
experience, and it will assist more of our families in providing those
rich learning opportunities for their children.”
The district will receive $1.8 million to launch the program this year,
with 21 new classrooms opening in community-based locations in November.
The district also will receive $2.3 million annually to sustain
the program in future years. Students must be 3 years old by Dec. 1 to
“I know if we do better by our youngest learners, they will have better
outcomes as their learning continues,” Dr. V said.