WINDSOR TERRACE — Following appeals and review processes that have been going on since the fall, the city’s Department of Education (DOE) has reinstated “Pre-K for All” programs in three diocesan schools next year.
The previously affected Catholic schools whose contracts have now been renewed for the 2021-2022 academic year are Sacred Heart Catholic Academy, Glendale, St. Joseph Catholic Academy, Long Island City, and St. Catherine of Genoa-St. Thérèse of Lisieux Catholic Academy, Flatbush.
Alison Kondel, the “Pre-K for All” director at Sacred Heart Catholic Academy of Glendale, was happy to receive the news on the weekend of Feb. 20, 2021.
“I’m glad they reversed the decision because we’re a program that’s worth keeping,” Kondel said upon learning that her program’s contract for 54 seats was granted again. “The next steps are to go into negotiations for the funding and actively planning for the enrollment process to start.”
Fred T. Haller, chairperson of Sacred Heart-Glendale’s board of directors, added: “On behalf of the school, we really just want to thank the city’s Department of Education for reversing their decision.
“We have a very good program, and … it was the local politicians, parents at the school, and the diocese all working together with the city to make this happen.”
Citywide “Pre-K for All” applications opened on Wednesday, Feb. 24, and will close on Wednesday, April 7.
In September, 105 programs across the city were notified their contracts were not extended for the following year — including St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy, Greenpoint and Sacred Heart Academy, Bayside, which will not be renewed following the appeals process. The free, full-day “Pre-K for All” program has been one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature initiatives since launching in 2014.