Last day of preparations for NYC pre-K rollout

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NEW YORK (AP) - Officials getting ready for a massive expansion in the city's prekindergarten enrollment are spending the last day before school starts finishing inspections of every single facility.

A Department of Education team is expected to complete its walkthroughs of all locations on Wednesday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration announced a snag Tuesday - the shuttering of nine pre-K centers and delaying of start dates at 36 others. Safety and integrity concerns were behind the decision to revoke contracts at the nine centers, which were to serve 265 students. Those students will be reassigned to other centers.

Officials say the vast majority of the 1,700 sites will open on the first day of school Thursday and are poised to serve an unprecedented jump from 20,000 to 53,000 students in a single year.

City agency inspections also identified approximately 36 additional sites, serving about 900 children, that will likely have their start dates delayed while oversight and permitting continue, a spokesperson said.

Most of these sites are expected to open on Monday, September 8th.

According to the City:

“As soon as the City made the determination that 9 schools are not likely to open, enrollment specialists at the Department of Education initiated communication with parents whose children may be affected. Specialists called, emailed and texted parents to alert them to the potential changes and are working individually with each family to offer them a quality alternative in which to re-enroll each child.

Enrollment specialists are trained to assess a family’s needs and to identify convenient alternatives based on where families live, where parents work, as well as any program features that a family may seek, such as language training, according to the City.

Specialists will continue to work with families until every child in an available seat of the parent’s choice.”

The following sites have been deemed unsafe, and are unlikely to open this fall:

  1. Child Development Support Corporation (Clinton Hill)
  2. Rainbow Afterschool Program (Clason Point)
  3. Birch Family Services Center (East Flatbush)
  4. Manhattan Early Childhood Center (Washington Heights)
  5. Queens Early Childhood Center (Springfield Gardens)
  6. Watson Avenue Early Childhood Center (Parkchester)
  7. Rainbow Montessori (East Bronx)
  8. Alpha Academy (Jamaica)
  9. Rising Stars Islamic School (Jamaica)

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