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Mayor Sarno Discusses Springfield’s Preschool Expansion with Strategies for Children

|   City News

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno discussed the City of Springfield’s preschool expansion plans and the achievement and enhancements the Springfield Public Schools have made since taking office. Under the leadership of Superintendent Daniel Warwick the districts graduation rate has increased and the dropout rate has significantly decreased. In 2012, the districts dropout rate was over 12% and the graduation rate was at 56.6%. In 2021, the dropout rate was 1.9% and the graduation rate jumped up to 84%.

Mayor Sarno states, “When I first took office as Mayor in 2008, the graduation rate was at 53% and the drop-out rate was at 12%.  These numbers were unacceptable.  This is a monumental change since my administration has taken office.  Thanks to the leadership of Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick and his staff, our principals, teachers, students and their families, and also our School Committee members, our district has improved our drop-out and graduation rates by leaps and bounds.  There is still much work to be done, but we have come a long way and we will continue to utilize all available resources, programs and initiatives for the betterment of our students and their families.”

“I am proud to say that our Springfield Public Schools will be the first in the Commonwealth to offer early education opportunities for our 3 and 4 year olds by funding preschool classes to every elementary school in the district,” Mayor Sarno continued.  “This is a monumental development for our community and will not only provide a nurturing educational environment for our young students to succeed but pay dividends for our future too.  In addition, working with Superintendent Warwick and his staff, we will open a dedicated new preschool only facility to support our commitment to nurture and educate our young students so that they have every chance possible to succeed.  Studies show the more investment we put into a strong foundational start, the more positive outcome measurements come to our children, their families, our economy, workforce development and public safety aspects.  The old adage, pay me now or pay me more later.” 

The School Committee’s approval of the FY23 budget sets the stage for Springfield Public Schools to become the first district in the Commonwealth to provide free, universal full-day preschool for 3- and 4- year old students.

“I want to thank Strategies for Children and the Firestarter Interactive for their partnership and support in advocating for more early education opportunities for our children and their families.  Special shout out to Amy O’Leary, Marisa Fear and Willa Kemmerer for helping to put together this Starting at Zero project.  I am looking forward to sharing the good work Springfield is doing in expanding preschool opportunities with the rest of the Commonwealth.”

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm