St. Paul Schools expand Pre-K access, opportunities with new partnership

Hoping to increase educational opportunities for pre-kindergarten students within its district, Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) and Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties Head Start program have announced a partnership to expand its programming at three elementary schools this fall.

Four new Pre-K classrooms will be located at Eastern Heights, EXPO, and Highwood Hills elementary schools, in addition to the new Nature Discovery Pre-K program at St. Anthony Park Elementary School.

In total, the options will increase the district’s Pre-K capacity by more than 10%, or a total of 160 additional seats, according to SPPS. 

"Early education is essential not only for young learners and their families but also for stabilizing enrollment in Saint Paul Public Schools," said SPPS Superintendent Joe Gothard. "Families who enter SPPS in Pre-K are more likely to stay. That continuity of their educational journey is key to unlocking students’ full potential and academic success." 

The mixed-delivery model will pool funding resources to run the additional programming.

SPPS will provide educational programming consistent with the district’s existing Pre-K programming, while Head Start will support children and families with services related to student health and family advocacy.

Currently, there are more than 600 families on a Pre-K waitlist across the district, according to SPPS. 

Meanwhile, Head Start has more than 500 preschool-aged children on its waitlist.