By Emily Drooby
Nourishing kids’ minds and their imagination is one reason why parents love the pre-k3 and pre-k4 programs at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
But now, the program is in limbo.
Donna DeLuca, the director of the school’s pre-k for all program said, “I still don’t know what to tell parents, and it’s just an awful situation.”
Their pre-k3 is private, but since 2016 their pre-k4 has been funded through the city. 105 of those pre-k for all programs have been cancelled for the 2021 school year.
St. Stanislaus Kostka was originally one of them, but they’ve appealed. Now, they’re still waiting to hear back about their appeal to see if their contract will be cut and they’re running out of time.
They haven’t announced the window yet, but it [registration] usually opens around the first week of February,” Donna explained.
School officials are confused, because they’ve been at maximum capacity for the past six years with a 30 person wait list. They have high scores, and great reviews from parents. Last year, they were even asked to expand.
The free program is also crucial as it serves Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Long Island City, all areas where rents have skyrocketed.
“Parents rely on it. It saves them a ton of money, and I think it’s kind of unfair to pull out the rug from all of these parents during a pandemic where they really can’t get into schools, schools are closed right now,” Donna added.
Now, they’re just looking for a response either way.
“Whether it’s positive or negative, just give us an answer so that we know,” said Frank Carbone, president of the school. “We can plan and help ease the tension and help ease some of the pressures that our families are experiencing right now, which is important to us.”
They’ve been asking for help, setting up a petition and urging their community to email the Department of Education, but still have heard nothing.
Currents News reached out to the Department of Education — they say the appeals process is ongoing and that the school should hear back in the next few weeks.
The school is planning on exploring the option of taking the program private if they lose their appeal.