Push To Delay New Entry Age For Kindergarten

February 23, 2024

The legislative session is picking up steam as my colleagues and I continue to work on new bills in our respective committees. As your voice at the Capitol, I relish the opportunity to hear from you. Many parents reached out with concerns about the new kindergarten entry age. Please read below to learn about our proposal to delay the implementation of that law.

There are several proposals to create parking lots and traffic patterns at Fred Wolfe Park, and you are encouraged to weigh in! Keep scrolling to see the difference ideas on the table and vote for your favorite.

Students are helping raise money for a new teen space at Derby Neck Library. Look below to see why there is an urgent need for an upgrade.

Here are the sections and topics in this week's email:
  • Push to Delay New Entry Age For Kindergarten
  • Wanted: Resident Feedback on Fred Wolfe Park 
  • Woodbridge Farm Receives State Grant
  • Fundraiser For Teen Space At Derby Neck Library
  • In The News
  • American Heart Month Resources
  • Derby Events Calendar
  • Upcoming Events in Hamden
  • Orange Events Calendar
  • Upcoming Events in Woodbridge
Push To Delay New Entry Age For Kindergarten
Our state is changing the age requirement for kindergarten, and parents in our district are contacting me with questions about this new law. 

Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, children need to turn 5 years old on or before September 1 to be automatically eligible for kindergarten. This is a change from the current kindergarten cutoff date of January 1. The four month difference has left the caregivers of 9,000 children scrambling to figure out if they can get their kids into kindergarten or if they’ll need one more year of preschool, which comes with a significant price tag.

Let's start a conversation about PreK programs in our schools.

I joined my colleagues, concerned parents, and educators to propose delaying the implementation of this law until the fall of 2026. Pushing the start date of this law would:

  • give families and school districts more time to prepare
  • allow districts to hire more staff
  • potentially lead to expansion of preschools
  • give childcare providers an opportunity to open new, small businesses

Flexibility is the key to help everyone involved including our children.

Click Here To Learn More
Click on the image above to watch the full Channel 8 report.
Wanted: Resident Feedback on Fred Wolfe Park 
You have an opportunity to weigh in on the future of Fred Wolfe Park! BL Companies, a Connecticut based engineering and planning company, offered four traffic pattern designs last month at the Orange Park and Recreation Commission meeting. BL Companies was hired to look at the designs and challenges specific to the traffic patterns of the Park. 

Below you will find the slides presented. If you have a preference, please email the Chair of P & R, James O'Connor to share that feedback. Please select between:

  • Concept 1
  • Concept 2
  • Concept 3
  • Concept 3A
As I mentioned when I spoke at the meeting, I am very grateful for the work the commission and the FWP Committee have done and their efforts to engage the public in this process. Thank you to those who spoke up and urged for more resident feedback. These conversations may take time, but are important for a positive outcome.
Woodbridge Farm Receives State Grant
The state awarded $3,600 to the Off Center Farm in Woodbridge to create a drying area for herbs and flowers and to buy a distillation kit for lavender. This investment comes from the Department of Agriculture, which handed out more than two dozen farm transition grants to support Connecticut’s robust agricultural industry.

Off Center Farm is dedicated to growing delicious food and beautiful flowers. According to its website, Off Center Farm grows beautiful produce without synthetic chemicals. CLICK HERE to learn more about the farm.

Fundraiser For Teen Space At Derby Neck Library
Derby Neck Library is hosting a Read-a-Thon to raise money for a new teen space. Since the area is so popular among students, the current space quickly reaches capacity and overflows into the children’s room.
The library is encouraging students to help with fundraising campaign which is underway and continues through March 31. Teens participate in the Read-a-Thon by looking for sponsors through their families, teachers, and neighbors.
Click Here To Learn More & Donate
In The News
CT Mirror: "CT lawmakers urged to delay kindergarten age change"

Channel 8 (WTNH): "Debate continues over Connecticut’s new kindergarten eligibility law"

NBC Connecticut: "Childcare advocates push for year delay in change to kindergarten cutoff date"

American Heart Month Resources
February is American Heart Month, a time when all people, especially women, are encouraged to focus on their cardiovascular health. This Heart Month, the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention is encouraging women to listen to their hearts and speak up for their health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in our state and the rest of the country.

The HEARTSafe program helps Connecticut's municipalities, workplaces, and campuses improve the chances of survival for anyone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. During American Heart Month, help spread the word about this life-saving saving program.
Municipalities, campuses, and workplaces can apply to become a HEARTSafe community by clicking here.
Derby Events Calendar
Check out the events below, and click the button at the bottom of this section to access the community calendar.
Derby Public Library staff members selected some of their favorite books, which are available for check out. The books are lovingly wrapped, so it will be a mystery title hidden inside when you choose one. 

Come visit the Library’s special display on the Main Level of the Library through February 29 on the Main Level and find your perfect match!

Derby Community Calendar
Upcoming Events in Hamden
Take a look and click on the fliers below to learn more about the upcoming events. Make sure to check out the button at the bottom of this section to learn about other events.
The Louis Astorino Ice Rink continues to host public skate nights every Friday from 8:15 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. Skating is $10, skate rentals are $10, and the snack bar will be open. Both cash and card will be accepted for admission and skate rentals, and only cash will be accepted for the snack bar.
More Hamden Events
Orange Events Calendar
Check out the flier and community calendar in Orange below.
The Orange Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to organize a community CPR and AED Training class! Instructors will provide basic knowledge of CPR and properly using an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED. CLICK HERE to register!
Orange Community Calendar
Upcoming Events in Woodbridge
Check out the events below and click the button under that to access the Woodbridge community calendar.
Stop by Woodbridge Town Library on Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 P.M. for a community conversation about disability. CLICK HERE to register.
Woodbridge Community Calendar