Saturday, October 25, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 33
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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on August 27th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 25 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 25

Santa Maria-Bonita has preschool slots open

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Classes in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District started on Aug. 12, but the district still has room for students in its state preschool program.

Students can be enrolled in the preschool program at any time. State preschool is for children who turn 4 years old before Sept. 1 of each year and who meet eligibility guidelines. Classes are three hours long, Monday through Friday.

Nine of the district’s school campuses are host to state preschools—Robert Bruce, Fairlawn, Miller, Ontiveros, Rice, Battles, Alvin, Adam, and Sanchez elementary schools. Families need to live in Santa Maria for their children to be eligible. There is space for students at each of the schools, and parents can visit the schools to get a list of the information, such as immunization records and proof of income, that is required to apply.

A press release from the school district said that the program is designed for low-income families and has typically had more than enough applicants, but changes made to the program a few years ago caused some families to shy away from the program. The releases said those changes have been repealed.

“For a couple of years, the state was requiring that parents pay to have their children attend state preschool classes,” Raquel Valdez, the district’s preschool director, said in the release. “Now, families no longer have to pay; the program is free, but it’s been hard to get the word out and let parents know about the change.”

Families must meet the income eligibility guidelines for the program; if they do, the program is free. Eligibility is based on falling below an income ceiling. For more information, in English and Spanish, call 361-6758.