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ACPS Preschool Programs

The goal of the preschool programs in Albemarle County is to provide comprehensive early-childhood learning experiences for students with risk factors that may prevent early academic success.

ACPS Preschool Network - Head Start, Title 1, Bright Stars, and Early Childhood Speacial EducationThe diagram to the right shows all the programs currently in existence in Albemarle County that provide preschool opportunities through the Albemarle County Public Schools.

During 2006-2007, we began to collaborate across programs and piloted blended preschool classrooms.

For families who would like guidance upon where to start with the application process -- including to which program to apply, contact the Office of Instruction at 434-296-5820.

Specific program descriptions and links are shown below.

​Bright Stars

Bright Stars is a state and locally funded program for 4-year-old students who may be at risk for developmental or educational problems. A variety of child and family risk factors are considered, including low income, limited education or illiteracy of the parent, single parent household, and family stressors such as unemployment or mental/physical health problems. Eligibility is based on need, as determined by assessment of these risk factors. Eligible children are served in their neighborhood schools, where they will be attending Kindergarten, with few exceptions. 

Bright Stars has classrooms at the following Elementary Schools: Agnor-Hurt, Cale, Greer, Red Hill, Scottsville, Stone Robinson, and Woodbrook.

Application Process

For more information and to obtain an application, parents should call their local elementary school and ask to speak with the Bright Stars Family Coordinator. Applications are also available at the Albemarle County Department of Social Services, the MACAA/Head Start office.

The application for next school year is generally available February 1st and recruitment runs through March 1st (although applications are accepted all year).

As applications are processed, potential students are assigned points according to risk factors. Students identified to be most in need are selected for the program.

PLEASE NOTE: Submitting an application does NOT guarantee enrollment in the program. Children selected to attend will be notified with an offer to enroll. Most sites do have waiting lists, and we regret that we can not currently serve all families interested and in need.


Carol Fox, Bright Stars Program Coordinator
1600 5th Streets, Suite A
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 972-4010

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program serves children ages 2-5 years old (as of 9/30) who have been found eligible for special education with an identified disability. Classroom programs are located in several elementary schools, where up to 8 children with special needs are taught by a certified ECSE and preschool staff, in the context of a center-based or inclusive preschool classroom. Students who are eligible for ECSE receive special education services according to Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

Application Process

All preschool referrals for consideration for special education (including referrals for speech concerns) should be directed to the Early Childhood Special Education Office at (434)973-2490.

Head Start

MACAA Head Start is a federally-funded child development program for children ages 3 -5 that provides services to promote the academic, social, emotional, and physical development of children from income-eligible familes. Head Start classes are currently located at the following three elementary schools: Broadus Wood (2 classrooms), Brownsville and Hollymead.

Application Process

Interested families obtain an application by calling Nikki Feggans (contact information below), from the MACAA Head Start Office or from MACAA's web page ( Verification of age and income are required. The annual recruitment cycle begins January 1.  Applications are accepted all year.  

Monticello Area CAA Head Start Contact

Harriet Kaplan, ERSEA Coordinator

Monticello Area Community Action Agency
1025 Park Street
Charlottesville, VA 22901
(434) 295-3171 Extension 3008

Title I Preschool Program

The Title I preschool program is for 4-year-old students who have been determined by the locally developed Title I Preschool screening process to be educationally at risk. Students are served according to degree of "at risk" factors in their family (poverty, illiteracy, lack of education, single parent, mental/physical health problems, etc.) in their neighborhood schools. The Red Hill program is a combined Title I / Bright Stars program. The Agnor-Hurt program is a combined Title I / ECSE / Bright Stars program.


March 31 for priority consideration.


Alison Dwier-Selden, Lead Coach preschool 
Albemarle County Public Schools
401 McIntire Road, Room 333
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 296-5820​​​​​​​​​​​

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