With names culled from birth records and child-care centers, workers have already dialed up more than 135,000 parents of four-year-olds.
Some supporters of Mayor de Blasio’s vision for creating new “community schools” expressed doubts about the program, which will include more extra instructional time and after-school programs for students.
The numbers are a victory for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has made expanding full-day prekindergarten a signature initiative of his administration.
Following the so-called community schools model, the city will bring physical and mental health practitioners, guidance counselors, adult literacy teachers, and a host of other service providers into these schools. They will also add an extra hour of tutoring to the school day and receive money for new after-school seats, summer programs, and more teacher training.
Expanding “community schools” in New York City will require changing the way that children’s services are delivered, according to new recommendations. A core feature of community schools, which Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to grow, is adding support and services after the regular school day.
After years of meeting over lunch and between bells, the city’s teachers now have 80 uninterrupted minutes every Monday afternoon to collaborate and train.
“This is a moment of fulfillment, a dream we’ve had for a long time finally coming to fruition,” de Blasio said at Inner Force Tots, a pre-K site in Brooklyn on Thursday morning.
As New York City expands its pre-K offerings, questions of how best to train principals and evaluate teachers have taken on new urgency.
Mayor Bill de Blasio knows what will happen if middle schoolers don’t find after-school programs worthwhile. They’ll vote with their feet, and stop showing up.
A longstanding body of research shows that high-quality prekindergarten programs help children succeed in school and in life — a driving force behind the city’s unprecedented expansion of pre-K this year. But high-quality programs depend on high-quality teachers, and getting educators ready for the new programs is requiring a herculean effort.