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Rotterdam residents gear up for full-day Kindergarten

Pencils check. Snack check. Bundle of nerves " check.

Incoming kindergartners across the region are preparing to enter the beginning of their school careers this September, and while the experience will certainly be new for them, it will also be new for many parents, teachers and school administrators as area schools implement a full-day program.

"I'm a little scared of kindergarten," said Justin Andriola, 5, who will be attending Bradt Elementary School in the Mohonasen Central School District. "Making new friends is sometimes scary."

His father, Tom Andriola, who is also a Mohonasen Board of Education member, thinks that his son will be just fine when it comes to making the adjustment " and that includes making new friends.

"I think it's great," said Andriola said of the transition from a half-day program to full day. "I think he's at the age where he's soaking up information like a sponge, and I think moving to full-day kindergarten is going to give him the opportunity to be able to learn as much as he can at an early age that will hopefully help him out down the road."

Andriola said his son has been in daycare on a full-day basis since he was 6 months old, so he isn't worried about the length of the school day, which will be about seven hours as opposed to the average three-hour half-day program it's replacing.

"I know there are parents that have concerns about that," said Andriola.

However, there are programs in place to help the students adjust to a full day of instruction and activity.

"I think that the plan is that it's going to be a lot less of a squeeze for time for any particular thing," said Andriola. "There's going to be times for sort of downtime in the early afternoon and things like that that will hopefully help the kids to adjust."

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