"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning." Mr. Rogers

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” ~Mr. Rogers

​​​Do you have a child who will be 3- or 4-years-old by September 30, 2023?

Albemarle County Public Schools is now accepting applications for all of our preschool programs for the 2023-24 school year.

For more information, please contact Lisa Molinaro, Preschool Lead Coach, at or 434-296-5820 ext. 13524.

To learn more, access the application and frequently asked questions at at our ACPS Preschool Application and Information page​

​Bright Stars Program

The Bright Stars Program is a state and locally funded early intervention and prevention program provided in collaboration with the Albemarle County Public Schools and Albemarle County Department of Social Services. The program serves 4-year-olds who may be at risk for developmental and/or educational challenges. This high-quality and engaging preschool experience provides children with skills that promote school and life success. A variety of child and family risk factors are considered, including low or limited income, homelessness, limited parent/guardian education or an identified disability. Other risk factors may be considered such as single parent households, mental or physical health concerns, domestic violence, substance use and abuse or neglect. Eligibility is based on an assessment of risk factors. When possible, it is a priority to serve all eligible children in their neighborhood school, where they will attend Kindergarten, with few exceptions. In addition to a high-quality preschool experience, children and their families are provided support and case management from a Family Coordinator through the Department of Social Services.

The Bright Stars Program provides children with opportunities to:

  • Explore and create during many kinds of play
  • Communicate and cooperate with other children and adults
  • Learn and practice critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Learn kindergarten readiness skills including pre-literacy and early numeracy

Our 11 Bright Stars classrooms are located across 7 of our 15 Elementary schools: Agnor-Hurt, Mountain View, Greer, Red Hill, Scottsville, Stone Robinson, and Woodbrook. Each classroom enrolls a maximum of 18 students and is staffed with a full-time highly qualified teacher and teaching assistant.

Students living in the Stony Point district may attend the preschool program, if accepted, at Stone-Robinson Elementary. Transportation is provided to Stone-Robinson from one bus stop located at Wilton Farms. If that stop is inaccessible to families, they may provide their own transportation to Stone-Robinson.

For families who are eligible for enrollment, but whose neighborhood school does not offer a Bright Stars classroom, enrollment may be offered as space permits at another school. Families would be responsible for providing transportation to/from school.

Family Engagement

Parents are their child's first and most important teacher. Parental involvement is a key factor for children to be successful in school. 

ACDSS Family Coordinators serve as liaisons between the schools and families enrolled in the program. The Family Coordinator and the classroom teacher work closely with each family to support them in identifying needs and accessing community services and supports.

Bright Stars Parents committ to:

  • Partnering with the family coordinator, classroom teacher, and school
  • Attending parent-teacher-family coordinator conferences twice a year
  • Participating in class field trips, school events, and family engagement events

Application Process

Families are encouraged to apply online at or submit a paper application which can be found below.

Additional InformationACPS Preschool Network - Head Start, Title 1, Bright Stars, and Early Childhood Speacial Education

Applications are accepted throughout the school year to fill vacancies as they occur. 

PLEASE NOTESubmitting an application does NOT guarantee enrollment. Regrettably, all families cannot be served however, a waiting list for enrollment in the program is maintained.


Lisa Molinaro, ACPS Lead Coach for Preschool
Albemarle County Public Schools
401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902​
(434) 296-5820​ Ext. 13524

Early Childhood Special Education Program (ECSE)

The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program serves children who have been found eligible for special education with an identified disability between the ages 2-5 years old (as of Sept 30th of the current school year), through a variety of models including part-time playgroups, itinerant and consultative services within general education ACPS and community preschool classrooms, and self-contained and inclusive ECSE classrooms (full-time hours except shortened day Fridays). Eligible special education students’ services are outlined within Individual Education Plans (IEPs). The inclusive ECSE classrooms also serve 4-year-olds (as of Sept 30th of the current school year) who do not have a suspected or identified disability. Students are placed in these seats by need-based and in-district priority. Transportation can be provided to/from ACPS program locations and residency address for students eligible for special education services and students without disabilities when accepted into the inclusive ECSE classroom at their districted school.

Our 11 ECSE classrooms are located across 9 of our 15 Elementary schools: Baker-Butler, Broadus Wood, Brownsville, Hollymead, Mountain View, Murray, Stone-RobinsonStony Point and Woodbrook.

Application Process

All preschool referrals for consideration for special education eligibility/services (including referrals for speech concerns) should be directed to the Special Education Preschool Evaluation Team at (434)-296-5885, option #4. Families are encouraged to apply for the seats for students without disabilities within our inclusive ECSE classrooms, online at or by submitting a paper application, which can be found below.


Valerie Parks, ECSE Coordinator
Albemarle County Public Schools
401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902​
434-296-5820 Ext.13219

A preschool student plays with a toy during the program.

Head Start Program

MACAA Head Start is a federally-funded child development program for 3 and 4-year-olds that provides services to promote the academic, social, emotional and physical development of children from income-eligible families. Head Start classes are currently located at Agnor-Hurt Elementary, Crozet Elementary, Greer Elementary and Hollymead Elementary. The program also has classes at the Park Street MACAA location. 

Application Process

Families are encouraged to apply online at or submit a paper application which can be found at below.

Additional Information

MACAA Quick Guide


Mackenzie Wolfe, ERSEA Specialist
Phone: (434) 995-9800

Karla Ayala Martinez, Bilingual ERSEA Specialist
Phone: (434) 270-2620

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

For additional information regarding ACPS Preschool contact:

Lisa Molinaro, ACPS Lead Coach for Preschool​
Albemarle County Public Schools
401 McIntire Road​
Charlottesville, VA 22902​
(434) 296-5820​​​​