Universal Pre-K Program

The Universal Pre-Kindergarten program (UPK) is a free pre-K program, funded by New York State, for four-year-old children who reside in the district. If you are a Saratoga Springs City School District resident, and your child will be 4 years old as of December 1 for the school year for which you are applying, you are eligible to apply for this program.

How To Apply for the Universal Pre-K Program

2023-2024 Registration begins on January 17, 2023 and is open until April 30, 2023.  It is important to note that an application does not guarantee a placement in a UPK or Lifeworks Head Start Program. After applications have been processed, children will be placed in sites in the spring. If the number of applications is greater than the number of spots available, there will be a UPK Lottery on May 15.

UPK Applications are accepted online through our secure, easy to use SchoolTool Portal. Before you begin the registration process, please gather the following documents, and scan them to your device so you can upload them during the online registration process.

  • Proof of date of birth: Please provide your child’s original birth certificate. If your child’s birth certificate is unavailable one of the following can be used for identification: passport or certified record of baptism.
  • Two Proofs of Residency: Click here to view a list of acceptable documents.
    Parent/guardian Photo Identification
  • Official Student Immunization Record, and most recent physical
  • Custody Papers (if applicable; must be a signed copy)
  • Once you have all your documents, click here to begin the online application.

Who runs the UPK classes?

The UPK program is administered through the Saratoga Springs City School District by Michele Whitley, K-12 Director of Humanities and Elementary Instruction, at 518-583-4725. UPK classes are currently offered by Saratoga Regional YMCA and Saratoga County EOC Head Start.

 Currently, the district offers the following full-day and half-day programs:

  • Full-Day: The Full-day programs are held in a district elementary school building. There are three locations projected to be offered during the 2023-2024 school year, for a total of 54 spots. Full-day program locatons will be listed on the UPK application. The day runs Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., following the SSCSD school calendar. Meals are provided by the school district unless families opt to provide food from home. 
  • Half-Day: The half-day program is held at the SRYMCA, West Ave location. This is a morning class that runs Monday-Friday from 9 -11:30 a.m., following the SSSCSD school calendar.

Where are the class locations and the hours of operation?

  • UPK Full-day – Division Street Elementary School: 8:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m.
  • UPK Full-day – Caroline Street Elementary School: 8:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m.
  • UPK Full-day – Dorothy Nolan Elementary School: 8:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. (projected to be offered in 2023-24 school year)
  • UPK Half-day – YMCA, 290 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • *LifeWorks, 3 Blue Streak Blvd., Saratoga Springs: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • *LifeWorks, 3180 Bockes Road, Greenfield Center: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • *LifeWorks, 29 Jefferson Street, Saratoga Springs: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • *LifeWorks, 310 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

*You must meet eligibility requirements to qualify for UPK at LifeWorks. Lifeworks is a free federally funded program run by the Saratoga County EOC for low-income pregnant women and children birth to age 5. 

Frequently asked questions

        Is transportation provided?

        No. Transportation is the responsibility of the parent(s).

        If I call right away will I be guaranteed a spot for my child?

        No. The district does not have a first-come, first-served registration list.

        How are children selected?

        Student placement will be determined through the use of a lottery.

        How will I be notified that my child was selected for the program?

        The district will mail acceptance/declination letters to all families who submit a timely application.