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Early Childhood Program (Pre-K)

Group of Syracuse City School District Students

Ashley Thompson
Ashley Davoli
Sondra Bergquist
Physical Address
1005 W. Fayette Street
4th Floor Syracuse, NY 13204
   Contact Info
   (315) 435-4276     

Click Here to Register for the 2024-2025 school year:
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Pre-K Student Age Programs

In the Early Childhood program it is important to pay careful attention to children’s ages.  For school purposes we categorize children as 3 year olds OR 4 year olds for the full year. We offer full and half day options for 3 year olds and 4 year olds. These delineations are especially important when assessing, planning, and transitioning children for the next school year.  Please review the chart below so you can correctly identify your students as a 3 yr OR 4 yr old:

For the 2023-2024 School Year

 PRE-K 3 year old  Child must be 3 by 12/1/2023  Born between 12/2/2019 and
 PRE-K 4 year old  Child must be 4 by 12/1/2023  Born between 12/2/2018 and
 Kindergarten - 5 year old  Child must be 5 by 12/1/2023  Born between 12/2/2017 and
For more information call the Syracuse City School District Early Childhood Program Office: (315)435-4276

Click here for 3 year old sites (2023-2024)               Click here for 4 year old sites (2023-2024)



To ensure that all children develop the necessary cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills that build the foundation for life-long learning and early literacy; this is accomplished by providing a high quality, safe and nurturing environment, responsive to the culturally diverse and unique needs of each child, through individual and interactive learning opportunities, supported by excellence in teaching and research-based instructional practices aligned with the NYS Learning Standards and the District’s curricula, in partnership with parents, staff, policy makers and community organizations.

Program Goals

  1. Enact a research-based, child centered curricula in alignment with the NYS Learning Standards and District’s content area curricula to ensure continuity of programming and a seamless transition to kindergarten.
  2. Create and sustain classrooms that develop critical thinking, cognitive, language, pre-literacy and motor skills, and social emotional growth.
  3. Establish strong parent/school partnerships.
  4. Implement research-based best practices in early childhood instruction, supported by effective professional development, across all programs.
  5. Work collaboratively with community early childhood educators to provide high quality educational programs for all resident preschoolers.
  6. Systematically measure children’s growth in the critical areas of child development and early reading to identify students who are in need of more intensive instruction and to modify instructional practices.

 About Us

The Syracuse City School District has provided services to prekindergarten childrensince 1966. The program was funded through theThis is a photo of a staff member sitting with two young students at a table together. New York State Education Department and included a required 11% local share. It has operated under the names of Experimental Prek, Targeted Pre-K and NYS Funded Pre-K over the years. The District was able to serve 3 and 4 year old children. This program structure operated for over 30 years serving only children who met income eligibility guidelines (qualified for free or reduced meals). Then in 1997, NY State legislation was passed to implement Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) across NY State. The design of this program was to ensure all age eligible 4 year old children would receive a prekindergarten program. Also, District’s were to seek collaborative partnership with Early Childhood providers within the community to provide UPK program to resident, age eligible 4 year old children. Initially the program blended both the Targeted Pre-K with Universal Pre-K and the District continued to be able to serve 3 and 4 year old preschool children. Currently the District offers Universal Prekindergarten and annually applies for a waiver to include a growing number of 3 year old children. The Syracuse City School District’s Early Childhood Program has received national and State recognition for its innovative parent involvement and inclusion programs.   

  • Universal Prekindergarten Program (UPK): UPK serves over 1400 District resident 4 year olds between community partnerships and District locations and nearly 750 District 3 year olds. This program is supported by NYSED grant and District funding. There are half and full day sessions offered in 19 school buildings and 10 community based organizations to operate UPK classes within their facilities. Currently, UPK agencies are operated in 22 locations around the City including 5 Head Start sites, 7 child care centers, and 8 nursery schools. UPK programming provides effective standards-based instruction for preschoolers and comprehensive services for their families. Additional classrooms within the Syracuse City School District as well as additional seats at collaborating agency partners were added under the following four programs:

    • State-Wide Universal Full Day Pre-K: This grant was implemented in the 2014-2015 school year and  provided for new seats as well as conversion (half day to full day) seats for four year olds.

    • Expanded Pre-Kindergarten for three and four year olds: This grant was awarded to the SCSD for the 2015-2016 school year.  This program provided new seats for three and four year olds across the city.

    • 3PK: This grant was applied for in August 2016 and we began programming for 3 year olds in the early months of 2017. This included converting half day seats to full day seats or creating new seats altogether for 3 year olds.

    • EPK3: This grant was applied for in fall 2018 and allowed for additional seats in our existing sites.
  • Inclusive Programs for Preschoolers with Disabilities: One of the early childhood program’s strengths is inclusive education. There are no self contained special education classes for preschoolers with disabilities as all children are included in our District pre-k classes. These programs operate in concert with the New York State Office of Early Learning and the Onondaga County Health Department’s Healthy Families office.

  • The Early Childhood Evaluation Center: provides comprehensive psycho-educational evaluations of children, ages 3 to 5 years, suspected of having a disability. These evaluations are conducted either in the child’s home, child care center or at the District’s evaluation center located in the Rockwest Building at 1005 W. Fayette Street.


Important Dates

03/27/2024: Marking Period 3 Ends
03/29/2024: No School (Good Friday)
04/10/2024: No School 
04/22/2024 - 04/26/2024 - Spring Recess
05/27/2024: No School (Memorial Day)
06/19/2024: No School (Juneteenth Observance)
06/25/2024: Marking Period 4  Ends and Last Day of School for Students
Educational Resources
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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