Tuckerton Elementary Gets State Aid for Preschool

By Pat Johnson | Aug 28, 2019

Tuckerton — On Sept. 3, Superintendent Janet Gangemi learned the Tuckerton Elementary School will receive $679,140 in Preschool Education Expansion Aid, part of Governor Phil Murphy’s push to promote early education.

“We’re very proud to be one of only two (Ocean County) school districts to receive the funding,” Gangemi said on Wednesday. “We’ll be able to provide sixty 3- and 4-year-olds a high quality,  full-day program. It’s a great opportunity for the school and community, and we’re excited to get started.”

The school held an enrollment day on Aug. 15, and 51 children between the ages of 3 and 4 were enrolled, contingent on getting the funding.

During the Aug. 26 Tuckerton Board of Education meeting, the board voted to approve salary adjustments to fill positions mandated by the preschool expansion program, and to hire a new teacher for a multiple disabilities class, contingent on the funding.

Principal Stephanie Wroniuk and teachers who would be affected by the expanded pre-school attended an in-service day in preparation for the expanded day.

Tuckerton’s  half-day program for 4-year-old children will expand to three full classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds. Children will attend school from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Wroniuk said the curriculum and classroom furniture has already been ordered, contingent on getting the funding.

If  the school needs more space, the district will contract with Standing Tall Day Care, located in town. The day care would hire its own teacher but use the same curriculum and be paid from the same funding. “Other districts have coordinating centers like this,” Wroniuk explained. “It’s nothing unusual.”

The school board also approved transferring $34,080 from the school maintenance reserve to the operating budget to pay for three large maintenance issues: $11,735 for a heating generator, $9,094 for dehumidifiers and $13,250 to repair the sidewalk on the Clay Street side of the school.

The next board of education meeting is Sept. 23 at 5 p.m.

— Pat Johnson

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