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Quick Facts about the Clarence UPK Program

  • The UPK program is a grant-funded program
  • 5 days a week, 180-day program that follows the District calendar (some days may differ, please ensure you receive a calendar from your center)
  • Half-day classes are 2.5 hours,  Full day classes are 5 hours
  • Transportation is not provided
  • A developmentally appropriate curriculum focusing on early literacy and mathematics skills is the foundation of the program
  • Each provider has a certified teacher and 1-2 classroom aides
  • Select centers offer “wrap-around” child care outside the UPK time at family expense (contact the providers for further details)
  • Attendance for UPK Program hours is at no cost to families
  • Students are randomly selected
  • Eligible students must be four years old by December 1 of the school year

Is UPK mandatory?
No. As part of Education Law, all children between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school. Therefore, neither UPK nor other prekindergarten are considered compulsory education.  


What is the selection process?
On the day of the lottery, a random sequence generator will be used to choose children for placement in the UPK program. Using the sequence provided by the generator (smallest number is 1, largest number is the amount of applications received), applications are numbered at random. Students will be placed with the first choice on the application as long as vacancies remain at that provider. If the first choice is at capacity, students will be placed with the second choice. If the second is full, they will be placed with third choice, and so on. Children not initially placed will be kept on a general waitlist, which will remain active until the end of the school year. 


How will I be notified?
You will receive an email indicating placement or waitlist position after the lottery. Results will not be given by telephone. You can expect the placement notification email by the afternoon of the lottery. 


What if I have twins or triplet?
Unless you state differently on your application, if all children are selected to participate in the UPK program, we will attempt to match their placement with the same provider. If one is selected and the other(s) is not, we can only offer placement to the child selected.


What paperwork am I required to provide?
If chosen to attend, we will collect a completed district registration form and a copy of your child’s birth certificate. In some cases, proof of residency may also be required. The UPK provider will later need a completed physical form including your child’s immunization records. 


What happens if I decline the placement that was offered?
If you decline the placement that was offered, either from the initial lottery or off the waitlist, then your child's name will cycle back through the waitlist.


Can my child be on a waitlist for [specific provider]?

The waitlist is not site-specific. At any time during the school year, if any spot with any provider becomes available, it will be offered to the next person on the list. Additionally, a child cannot occupy a space in a class while on the waitlist for something else. If you accept a placement, you are taken off the waitlist. 


What if my child receives CPSE services?
Every attempt will be made to accommodate your child’s service provider. Our Special Education department is made aware of our UPK rosters and coordinate services accordingly.


I missed the deadline, can I still apply?
We can add a child to the waitlist any time from the date of the lottery until the end of the school year. Please be advised this is not a guarantee we will be able to offer placement in the program.


What days do kids attend school?
Each UPK Provider creates its own school calendar modeled after the Clarence Central School District calendar. Please note that there may be times when the calendars are not identical – the Provider may have school on a day when the District does not, and vice versa. Please be sure you have both calendars so you are aware of any differences. 


Do we have to live in the District for a certain amount of time to be eligible?
There only residency requirement is that your child is a Clarence District student. It does not matter how long you have lived in the District beforehand. If you are moving to the district but will not be here when school starts, you may apply to enroll as a nonresident.