|Schools Exploring All Day Kindergarten|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00|
An all-day kindergarten program is being explored by the Tipp City schools.
Superintendent John Kronour last week discussed with the Board of Education the steps taken so far to gather input on the possibility of the district going from the one-half day format to an all-day kindergarten program.
“Many, many districts, most districts in the state are doing all-day kindergarten,” Kronour said, adding the added time is seen as a plus for the children.
The all-day concept was discussed recently with Nevin Coppock Principal Rick Brownlee and the four kindergarten teachers.
“The four teachers are absolutely on board,” Kronour told the board during its Dec. 3 work session. “I let them know we want to make sure parents have the opportunity to give us input, let them ask us questions.”
The teachers also asked for the opportunity to see other all-day programs in operation.
Information on a public meeting on all day kindergarten scheduled for Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at Nevin Coppock will be put on the district web site. A meeting with operators of preschools to discuss how an all-day program would affect them is planned for earlier that evening.
Brownlee also will survey parents of current Nevin Coppock kindergarten and first grade students. The survey is an effort to learn from parents if they think all-day kindergarten is or is not a good idea.
The goal. Kronour said, is to “try to see what the mindset is currently of those parents.”
Board member Scott Dixon asked about the downside to the all-day program beyond the obvious added costs.
Space for the classroom would be an issue to be addressed, Kronour said. Another issue is whether the children are developmentally ready to be in school all day.
“I am not a proponent of compacting the curriculum but that is what has happened,” Kronour said. “Having that extra half day to work with the kids is going to set them up to succeed in other areas.”
Some students will be more ready for the added time in school than others, a factor that wouldn’t be ignored, he said.
“It gives us the opportunity to work more with those kids as well as work with others and take them along a little bit further,” Kronour said.
Assistant Superintendent Gretta Kumpf said the day-long program would give time to
add depth to what the students are studying.” The additional practice time the longer day would provide would be “really good,” she said.