Paterson Public Schools in New Jersey are offering some help to parents looking for a new school.
The city’s schools announced Wednesday they will accept new applicants for kindergarten through 12th grade starting Aug. 31.
The schools said the new kindergarten program will be offered in grades K-3.
It will be open to students who live within 200 miles of the Paterson school district and will be administered by a school psychologist.
“The focus of the kindergarten program is to help children who have difficulty in identifying and identifying their needs,” the school district said in a statement.
“The program is designed to provide a learning environment that is appropriate for learning and socialization.”
The district also said it will offer special programs for special needs students and students who are medically diagnosed with special needs, such as autism.
New Jersey is the only New Jersey school district to offer kindergarten through 9th grade.
That program, known as the Kindergarten Program, has been in place since the 1990s.
New Brunswick, Newark and Camden are the only other New Jersey districts that offer kindergarten and 9th through 12 th grades.
A spokesperson for Paterson said it is currently accepting applications for kindergarten and the first-grade program.
A total of 15,000 kindergarten and first-graders will be selected for the program.
Those students will be assigned to the following school districts in the district: Paterson, Fairfield, North Bergen, Fairport, Newark, Rockland, Sussex and Sussex counties.
The districts are expected to select the final students in May.
Paterson is the largest of the districts.
The school district says the program will also offer free and reduced lunch to all kindergarten students in kindergarten through 8th grade, including special needs.
The district says it expects the kindergarten curriculum to provide students with an inclusive learning environment and the ability to work independently and interact with peers of different backgrounds.
Patronian Public Schools says the kindergarten programs are designed to ensure that students who struggle with specific learning problems or with language barriers will be given the support they need to succeed.
“This program provides students with the opportunity to learn in a safe and supportive environment, while giving them an opportunity to do so without the need to have special needs,” said a school district spokesperson.