The FY21 Springfield School District budget has the potential to kick-off a decade of positive educational growth for students. The district has proposed the addition of a pre-K program that will invest in the education of our students for years to come. It is necessary to capture students at a younger age so that we see less education and behavioral intervention.

In a quick internet search, you will find thousands of articles from numerous school districts seeking ways to address their special education costs. I believe that this district has come up with a valuable way to do so with this program. Furthermore, with the program being housed at Elm Hill School, Principal Dr. Christine Pereira will continue to lead a fantastic group of faculty and staff who will continue to foster an enriching academic environment for the district’s youngest and most impressionable learners.

My hope is for voters is to both understand and support the budgetary needs for this program to be implemented during FY21. Elm Hill School is eligible to receive approximately a grant of $200,000 each year, over the next two years, which would partially be allocated to the pre-K program. The district will require an additional amount of approximately $125,000 to implement the program for FY21. This is a small price to pay for 30 students to attend such a robust therapeutic program. I highly encourage individuals that desire more information about the program to read the district’s pre-K FAQ on their main website.

With private childcare facilities dwindling in Vermont, and even New Hampshire, this region is becoming more desperate for child care providers. This school-based pre-K program has the potential to be a model for the state. I encourage you to be part of positive change for this district, and a leader of change in this region.

Katelyn Daly

Springfield, VT

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