Kearsarge Schools to expand preschool program to Bradford

  • Artist’s rendering of Kearsarge Regional School District’s proposed new preschool building slated for Bradford. Kearsarge Regional School District

Monitor staff
Published: 11/24/2022 11:00:23 AM
Modified: 11/24/2022 11:00:13 AM

The Kearsarge Regional School District is expanding its preschool program to Bradford next year, in an effort to accommodate a growing demand for early childhood education.

The district is planning to buy a modular building to place on the campus of Kearsarge Regional Elementary School in Bradford to house a new preschool program. The building will be constructed off-site and delivered to Bradford in the spring, with the goal of being operational in time for the 2023-2024 school year. Inside, the building will have two classrooms, a teacher workspace, a motor playroom, a speech room, a staff area and bathrooms. Outside, there will be a fenced-in playground. The district is using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to purchase the space.

The new building will effectively double Kearsarge’s preschool program, which currently consists only of James House Preschool in New London, which operates on the SAU65 grounds. The new expanded program will span both sites and will be rebranded as the “Kearsarge Regional Preschool (KRPS)” at New London and at Bradford.

“Preschool gives children all of the tools they need to be prepared socially and academically for kindergarten, and gives them the best chance of success in their educational journey,” said Superintendent Winfried Feneberg.

The expansion is an effort to address the growing need for early childhood education in New Hampshire, where staffing shortages have left many preschools and daycare facilities severely understaffed, with long waiting lists of students.

“We have been discussing expanding preschool services to reach the southern tier of our District for several years, to allow early learning opportunities for more of our preschool-age community members,” said Nikki Robertson, Associate Director of Student Support Services for Preschool and KRES at Bradford. “With the single site in New London, it was challenging for families in Bradford, Warner and Newbury to enroll in a partial-day program that was far from their community.”

Next year, the two new preschool classrooms in Bradford will each run a morning program for 3-year-olds and an afternoon program for 4-year-olds led by two teachers and two paraprofessionals. The Bradford site is projected to have 12 to 15 openings for students in each age group. Children who live in Bradford, Newbury, South Sutton, and Warner are eligible to attend the Bradford site, while children who live in New London, Springfield, North Sutton or Wilmot will continue to attend the New London site.

Any child in the Kearsarge Regional School District who will be 3 or 4 years old by Sept. 30, 2023, is eligible to apply for the Kearsarge Regional Preschool program. Tuition is $115 a month for 3-year-olds attending two days a week, and $165 per month for 3-year-olds attending four days a week, and $245 per month for 4-year-olds attending four days a week.

Applications will be accepted beginning after Jan. 1, and spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis.


Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.



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