The Fayetteville-Manlius School District offers a full-day universal prekindergarten (UPK) program for four-year-old children who reside within the F-M district. UPK is a federally and state funded program that introduces young learners to the school environment and focuses on intellectually, socially and emotionally preparing children for kindergarten.

Because F-M’s three elementary school buildings are already at capacity, the district partners with existing early education community-based organizations to administer the district’s program. The program will follow the New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards.

Eligibility for 2024-25 School Year

The program is open to all children who reside within the district’s boundaries and, for the 2024-25 school year, are four years old on or before Dec. 1, 2024. Students who are school-age (turn 5 before Dec. 1, 2024) are not eligible. Registration for the 2024-2025 school year opens on January 2, 2024. The 2024-25 registration form will be available beginning December 18. 

The district offers up to 116 seats. If there are more eligible applicants than can be served in a given school year, the district will conduct a lottery-based system to determine who may enroll in the program. 

The lottery will select attendees on a random basis. New York state UPK regulations prohibit a district from prioritizing eligible students for any reason, including economic background. The selection of one twin, triplet or household member has no effect on the selection of any other siblings during the lottery selection process. 

If a lottery system is utilized, children not randomly selected will be placed on a waiting list. If any vacancies occur during the school year, they will be filled from the waiting list until it has been exhausted. 

Enrollment in the UPK program is not mandatory. However, enrolled students must adhere to the school district’s attendance policy. The program operates five-days-a-week and follows F-M’s district calendar, with 180 days of school (September through June) each year. 


The district will provide the UPK program at no cost to families. Funding for UPK is provided from federal funds. In addition, beginning in 2021-22, the New York state budget included funding for school districts to expand or establish pre-K programs.

It is anticipated that the state’s budget proposal for 2024- 25 will also include funding for this program.

Partner Locations 

The district partners with three community-based organizations to host the district’s program: 

  • Hal Welsh East Area Family YMCA
    200 Towne Dr., Fayetteville
  • Manlius YMCA
    140 W. Seneca St., Manlius
  • Shining Stars
    4595 Enders Rd., Manlius 


Each day the program is in session, it will operate for a total of five hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wraparound care before and after UPK program hours may be available for a fee via direct registration with each partner site. 

Two of the Shining Stars classrooms will operate from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that will be only for students whose parents can transport them to and from school each day the program is in session. 


The district will provide transportation, except for the two Shining Stars classroom mentioned above. Transportation must be from a student’s home or a New York state-licensed daycare operating within the district boundaries.


The district’s partner organizations will provide lunch to the students as a part of the program. 


Families that wish for their children to be part of the lottery for the 2024-25 school year must submit to the district a completed registration packet no later than March 31. When submitting the completed registration form, copies of the required documents listed on the form must also be submitted. Your registration cannot be completed without them.  Incomplete registrations will result in a child being excluded from the lottery.

If a family has twins, triplets, etc., one form should be completed for each student. If more than one student from the same household is selected in the lottery, they will be placed at the same UPK host location.

Families of the selected students will be informed no later than April 30. Students not selected will remain on a waiting list unless their families inform the district that they are no longer interested in the program.