Pre-K Handbook


The Cohoes City School District’s Universal Prekindergarten program (UPK) will provide children an opportunity to begin the process of becoming life-long learners. Students will leave UPK with a developmental framework of academic and social skills preparing them for their academic career as well as becoming responsible citizens in a global community.

Our Philosophy

The Cohoes City School District philosophy is “Learning By All.” As cited in the NYS Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core (2011), our framework will encompass the individual learning and development of the whole child, including students with disabilities and English Language Learners.

UPK provides an opportunity to learn about each child’s family and their traditions. Embracing a student’s culture enhances self-esteem and builds a classroom community. This partnership with our families sets a foundation for a positive school experience.

Goals of Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is based on a developmental continuum and is aligned with NYS Prekindergarten Learning Standards (2011) and the NYS Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core (2011).

Listed below are the five domains and a brief description:

  • Approaches to Learning: How children become involved in learning and acquiring
  • Physical Development and Health: Children’s physical health and ability to engage in daily
  • Social and Emotional Development: The emotional competence and ability to form positive relationships that give meaning to children’s experiences in the home, school, and larger
  • Communication, Language, and Literacy: Children’s understanding, creating, and communicating
  • Cognition and Knowledge of the World: What children need to know and understand about their

A Typical Day

Teachers will greet you and your child for drop off and pick up. There is time for conversation with UPK friends. Children enter their individual classrooms, have breakfast and then prepare for morning circle. Teacher and students discuss their daily schedule, goals, classroom jobs, weather, and calendar.

Centers involve options for exploring the world through the following: Language and Literacy, Math, Science, Technology, Community and the Arts. Centers may occur before or after lunch.

There is time for physical activity which may include the playground and general fitness skill development.

At the end of the day there is the option for a parent provided snack.

Child drop-off and pick-up

Children must be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. and UPK dismissal is at 2:30 p.m..

Snow days

Information on school closings or delays can be found on our website, through local television and radio stations, and through ParentSquare, our mass notification system. In the event of a cancelation or delay, families will receive a notification via email, text and phone call.


Transition is an important part of your child’s day. Children need to feel confident when they enter and leave an environment. Here are some suggestions to ease transitions:

  • Attend our Open House to meet all UPK staff and classmates.
  • Have your child bring pictures to personalize their Cubby and know that this is their own
  • Please reassure your child about each day’s schedule for drop off and pick
  • Please show excitement towards the UPK experience!

Parent/School Communication

Teachers will communicate to parents/ caregivers each day. This may include emails, written notes or conversation. Each classroom provides a monthly newsletter of UPK and school-wide events.

In September a universal screening process takes place for your child. This screening includes language concepts, fine and gross motor skills, and a parent questionnaire on social emotional development. All skills are progress monitored monthly and a trimester update is provided to parents on your child’s development.

Attendance Policy

We have a full day UPK program from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Attendance is taken promptly at 9:00 a.m. After which time students will be marked tardy. Children should be in school each day and on time unless they have a legal absence, which includes: illness, death in the family, emergency (medical or dental), and religious holidays. Children who have been absent from school must, on the day of their return, bring in a written note signed by a parent, guardian or doctor. The notes must include the date and reason for the absence.


Please make sure your child has an extra set of comfortable clothes and socks that are labeled. UPK students will explore using paint, water and other materials in their environment.

Field Trips

Our UPK program has field trips throughout the school year. Some occur only with UPK, others are building wide with the Abram Lansing School. Permission slips will be sent home for your signature. They will include details pertaining to the trips.

Committee on Preschool Special Education

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s learning, please discuss them with your teacher. Many questions about children are within the typical developmental milestones.

For preschool special education concerns, please contact the Office of Special Programs at (518) 237-0990.

Health regulation

As required by the NYS Education Department, you will need to submit proof that your child has had a complete physical exam and up to date immunizations. The immunization record will be reviewed by to insure compliance with NYS Regulations. Please make sure you submit this information to the school nurse at Abram Lansing School.

If your child has a medical condition or receives medication, please contact the school nurse in your child’s building.

Dietary services

Monthly meal menus are distributed to all students in Grades Prekindergarten through Grade 5. They are available to all students upon request. These menus comply with federal nutrition regulations. Special dietary services are available, but must be accompanied with a note from the child’s physician and be on file in the school lunch office.

Free/reduced meals

Students who meet the financial eligibility guidelines are entitled to one complete breakfast and one lunch each day. Regulations require that eligible students purchasing milk ONLY be charged 50 cents. Free/reduced meal applications are available at any time during the school year. They may be requested at the school lunch office or via email:

Send completed applications to:

Cohoes City Schools Food Service
Attn: Laura Manzer
1 Tiger Circle
Cohoes, NY 12047

Student Accounts

All students in grades K-12 have a food service account with MySchoolBucks. Cash, checks or money orders are accepted, as well as online payment. Make checks payable to “Cohoes Lunch Fund” and include with payment the child’s account number and child’s full name. Students may also use cash to purchase meals and/or snacks. Each time a student account is credited with $18, the student will receive a bonus free lunch.

Reporting Child Abuse and Maltreatment

As early childhood educational professionals, we are mandated reporters of any suspicion of child abuse and/or maltreatment. If there are any concerns brought to our attention, we will carefully assess the situation before making a report to the NY Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.

Diversity Statement

The Cohoes City School District is committed to reflecting the cultural diversity of our community. You are encouraged to share your family traditions with the UPK classroom.

Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

This website is maintained by Public Information Specialist Aaron Cagwin. It is the goal of the Cohoes City School District that this website is accessible to all users. View our accessibility statement. The district is not responsible for facts or opinions contained on any linked site. Some links and features on this site require the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Visit the Adobe website to download the free Acrobat Reader. This website was produced by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, NY. Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.