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Pre-Kindergarten Enrollment

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Thank you for your interest in PPS PreK! 

The PreK lottery application for the 2021-2022 school year will go live at 12am on February 8th. You will find the application and translations linked below. 

Please allow for a 30 minute buffer period as the application goes live. 
The timing of your application, as long as it is within the lottery window, has no effect on your lottery position. 

The lottery window will close on February 26th. Applications after that time will be put on the waiting list.

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Overview of Portland Public Schools' Pre-K Program

Portland Public Schools offers high quality Pre-K programming in both Portland Public Schools buildings and in partnership sites. Children are eligible if their birthday falls between 10/16/2016 and 10/15/2017. Start and end times of programs vary, but in most cases mirror the hours of K-5 classrooms in each building. Efforts to provide extended day care on a sliding scale and transportation are ongoing, in an effort to decrease barriers to accessing our Pre-K programs.

Children are placed in Pre-K slots in their neighborhood schools or in partner sites, based on our Pre-K lottery process. Portland does not yet have programs available in each elementary school but every Portland 4 year old has an opportunity to have a lotteried PreK slot.

For the 2021-22 school year, we expect to have PreK classrooms at Gerald Talbot Community School, Portland Arts and Technology High School, East End Community School, Harrison Lyseth School, Amanda C Rowe Elementary School, Peaks Island Elementary School, Presumpscot Elementary School, Youth and Family Outreach, Catherine Morrill Day Nursery, and St. Elizabeth's Child Development Center. An additional community partner program may also be added. Partnering with high quality community partner programs enables us to better meet the needs of the PPS community.

Pre-K Program Philosophy

Pre-K children benefit from high quality opportunities for developing language, literacy, mathematical problem solving abilities, conceptual knowledge, academic vocabulary, and social emotional skills. High quality Pre-K programs include a combination of intentionally planned learning environments and opportunities for child choice and exploration across all areas of development. Strong positive relationships with well trained, responsive and caring teachers positively impact child outcomes. Parents are viewed as children’s first teachers and as critical partners in the care and education of their children.

We view children as competent and capable learners with unique and diverse qualities. Our teachers are highly qualified based on national standards and receive regular professional development. The program prepares children to enter kindergarten having mastered foundational skills and the ability to initiate and maintain positive social relationships, as well as appropriate levels of independence to express their needs, identify and manage their emotions and solve problems with caring adults and peers. As a city, it is our goal to ensure access to high-quality Pre-K for all Portland children and we continue to partner with other organizations and providers to pursue that goal.

Public preschools are approved and monitored through the Maine Department of Education and follow Chapter 124: Basic Approval Standards: Public Preschool Programs. All Pre-kindergarten classes use nationally validated curricula and follow the Maine State Early Childhood Learning Guidelines. PPS Pre-K programs use formative assessment data to partner with families, to inform curriculum planning, and to best meet individual student needs. PPS Pre-K programs include developmental screening, language proficiency assessment as appropriate, assessment and referral services, and coordination and transition with school personnel for Individual Education Plans as needed.

More Information: 

Please contact Deenah Lewy, Assistant to PreK Programs at lewyd@portlandschools.org or call 874-8190.

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Pre-K Students