• 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. The 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, Stony Point, 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 31st (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.


Ann McAndrew, 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

Head Start is a national child development program for children age 3 to 5 that provides services to promote optimal academic, social and emotional development for income-eligible families.

Head Start classes are housed at the following elementary schools: Agnor-HurtHollymead​Brownsville, and Yancey.

Application Process

Interested families obtain an application from MACAA. Verification of age and income are required. Annual recruitment cycle begins February 1st through March 30th. Applications are accepted all year.

Monticello Area CAA Head Start Contact

Lucy Spencer, Head Start Education Manager
MACAA Head Start
1025 Park St.
Charlottesville, VA 22901
(434) 295-3171 Ext. 3008
FAX (434) 295-0453

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.


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