Preschool at a Glance

ENROLLMENT NEWS: District 401 is now enrolling students for 2021-22 preschool. Visit our Preschool Enrollment page for details about the registration process, including access to the LINQ online registration system. All classes are half day. The first day of school is Aug. 18, 2021.

Welcome to preschool! This is a special time when children are introduced to many new learning experiences, friendships and environments.

We are excited to have your child start their educational journey in District 401, where a full range of preschool programming is offered at John Mills Elementary School

Preschool Basics

Also known as "pre-kindergarten" or "PK," preschool in District 401 is open to children who will be at least 3 years old and no more than 5 years old as of Sept. 1 during the school year in which they are attending. All students must be residents of Elmwood Park.

Although children must be 3 years old to start, they do not need to be potty trained.

All of our preschool classes are held at John Mills Elementary: 

  • All classes are half day.
  • Classes are held five days per week for two-and-a-half hours each day.
  • Morning students attend class from 8:15 to 10:50 a.m.
  • Afternoon students attend class from 12:10 to 2:45 p.m.
  • We follow the District school calendar for holidays, conferences and early release days.
  • We also follow the District attendance policy.

Our preschool faculty consists of four teachers and four paraprofessionals. We also provide student support as needed in speech therapy, occupational therapy, social work, behavior analysis, physical therapy and hearing/vision.

Preschool Programs

We offer three main programs for preschool students:

Preschool for All provides services to children ages 3-5 who are not yet age-eligible for kindergarten and who are at risk of academic failure due to a multitude of risk factors.

Spanish Bilingual Preschool is for non-native English speakers who meet specific criteria. These students are given the opportunity to learn Spanish and English through a research-based curriculum that provides a foundation for their learning experience.

Tuition-Based Preschool is for all other students. The fee for preschool in 2021-22 is $3,000. The fee for preschool special ed is $50. Preschool tuition cannot be waived, but the amount can be paid in 10 monthly installments of $300, due on the first of each month. For more information on how to pay school fees, visit our School Fees page.

Preschool Family Night Presentations for 2021-22

In April 2021, District 401 held an information night for parents and guardians of children who will be new or returning preschool students in 2021-22.

Presentations from that evening are available in English and Spanish at the following links:

Contact Information

District 401's Student Services Department oversees preschool instruction and programming.

Dr. Kari Smith is Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, and Ms. Pamela Stutzman is head of the preschool program. Mr. Frank Kuzniewski is principal of John Mills.

They can be reached via email at the following addresses:

In addition, Ms. Kelli Girka is student services secretary, and she can be reached with questions at or 708-583-5850.