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Pre-Kindergarten Classes

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The Portland Public Schools offers seven public pre-kindergarten classes, located at six locations.  Children are eligible if they turn four years old on or before October 15 in the year of application.  The free classes run from approximately 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Children are placed based on available slots.  Portland does not yet have programs available in each elementary school, and children sometimes are placed outside of their neighborhood schools.  Parents are responsible for their own transportation.

Classes are located at Riverton Elementary School, Portland Arts and Technology High School, East End Community School, Hall Elementary School, Presumpscot Elementary School, Youth and Family Services, and The Opportunity Alliance.  Plans are underway to add additional classes in Portland’s public schools and in high quality preschool programs that are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  Our goal is to have an opening for any child who chooses to attend by the 2018-2019 school year.  

Program Philosophy

All pre-kindergarten classes are child- and family-friendly programs.  Parents are viewed as equal partners in the care and education of their child.  They are welcomed as volunteers and active participants in the daily life of the school. 

We view children as competent and capable learners with unique and diverse qualities.  Our teachers are highly qualified based on national standards.  The program prepares children to enter kindergarten having mastered foundational skills in language, literacy and numbers.  They learn to initiate and maintain positive social relationships, and they gain an appropriate level of independence that enables them to express their needs, regulate their emotions and solve problems with caring adults.  

All pre-kindergarten classes use nationally validated curricula and follow the Maine State Early Childhood Learning Guidelines. Programs include developmental screening, assessment and referral services and coordination and transition with school personnel for Individual Education Plans, as needed.  

The Portland Public Schools has entered into cooperative agreements with several area programs that offer early care education in both school- and neighborhood-based classes.  Combining resources of space, staffing and finances enables us to serve the maximum number of children citywide. 

Application Process

Each year, the district announces an open enrollment period for pre-kindergarten, lasting about two weeks.  Applications continue to be accepted after that time, but preference is given to those who apply during open enrollment

For more information 

Please contact Elizabeth Spinney at (207) 842-5341 or click on the link above for an application.