SOUTHWEST HARBOR—Pending approval of the Pemetic Elementary School budget in June, registration for a pre–kindergarten program will begin that same month.
In the second pre-K parent information session, which took place virtually in early May, the principals of both Pemetic and Tremont Consolidated School joined Julie Meltzer, director of curriculum and assessment for the district, to give an update for the program that is scheduled to begin this fall.
Voters of Tremont approved the school budget, which included $85,000 to start a pre-K program, during their annual Town Meeting on Wednesday, May 5. Southwest Harbor residents are scheduled to vote on their school budget, which includes $80,000 for the pre-K program, during Town Meeting June 5.
Enrollment for pre-K, which is open to children in Tremont and Southwest Harbor who turn 4 years old before Oct. 15, is capped at 12 students per town. Pemetic Elementary School will host the students for the half-day program. According to the presentation at the information session, Tremont students will go in the morning starting in September until January, while Southwest Harbor students will go in the afternoon. In January, the groups will switch to have students from Southwest Harbor going in the morning and Tremont students going in the afternoon.
There is no tuition for students to attend and transportation will be provided from each town.
Trenton Elementary School was the first in the district to offer public pre-K to 4-year–olds in the town. Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert and Tremont all proposed pre-K programs that would have started in the fall of 2020 but withdrew the requests shortly after the pandemic began. Mount Desert’s proposed pre–K program is still on hold.
Screening for pre-K students is slated to take place in August before the start of school once the child is registered to attend. Suggestions from the principals during the session for how to prepare students for prekindergarten included potty training, practicing wearing a mask, following directions and social skills, including how to be a good friend, as well as reading to the child.
If parents have questions, they are encouraged to contact their town’s school.