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South Colonie moves toward full-day kindergarten

When Marcelle retired this year, it was then up to Buhner to decide whether to move the other two elementary schools into transitional kindergarten, or move the entire district to a full-day kindergarten.

"The decision to go all day for all schools next year has two dimensions to it," said Moore. "Many of our students come from preschool experiences and are ready for it, so it has the educational aspect of it."

The other aspect is financial. The district will receive an additional $900,000 in state funding for the transition, and seeing as the district already has the staff, equipment and supplies for full-day kindergarten, the money would be added funds for the district.

According to Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Tim Backus, 60 percent of the district's buildings already had the staffing needed for full-day kindergarten.

Backus said the district also decided to move forward with the program because it allows the teachers to spend more time with the students.

"You've got them for longer time, so we really have more flexibility in our schedule throughout the day to offer students more help," said Backus.

Moore said the full-day program will also provide a lot more time for hands-on activities and student-specific education.

"In addition, it gives [teachers] more time to work with more groups of children and also gives them one-on-one time to meet whatever needs that child has," she said.

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