Scotia-Glenville school board approves full-day kindergarten

Scotia-Glenville parents with children entering kindergarten next year can add a lunch bag to their school supply lists. The school board voted at the Monday, Feb. 9, meeting to move from a transitional program to a full-day one.

Superintendent Susan Swartz said a survey given to parents of incoming kindergarten students showed that most would prefer a full-day program. She said some parents supported the move because of the added instructional time or because their children already had full-day preschool experience.

Swartz said she understands that the move to a full-day program can be a sensitive issue, especially for parents of first-time kindergarteners. She said district officials will be looking at how to best transition the students, including holding class for half days for the first few days of school.

We have to take into consideration what the trends in kindergarten education are, as well as what the majority of parents want, said Swartz.

The district has held a series of public presentations making the case for full-day kindergarten. Such a program has had the support of the kindergarten teachers, whose academic criteria continues to grow every year, especially in the area of pre-literacy skills. All four elementary school principals have also been in favor of a full-day program.

Board President Margaret Smith and board member Pam Carbone began the Monday discussion stating they wanted to see the transitional program remain in place.

Smith, who is also a nursery school teacher, said that the transitional program has been so successful and well-received by parents that she has a hard time seeing the value in changing it.

"My concern is for parents who expected to have their child enter a half-day program until January," said Smith.

The current program starts out the year with about 10 students per half-day session and then combines the two classes in mid-January.

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