The days got a little bit longer this year for South Colonie Central School District kindergarteners as the district moved to a full-day kindergarten program.
Two months into the program, district officials said the transition into full-day kindergarten has been smooth and that both teachers and students seem to be adjusting well.
I've been in and out of the buildings and I think, so far, it's going great, said Superintendent of Schools Jonathan Buhner.
The biggest adjustment is that for the students, Buhner said. As students were typically used to spending half-days in kindergarten, now they spend a longer time in the classroom.
"It's a little bit of an adjustment for the kids," Buhner said. "But they've adjusted and the teachers are pleased to have more time with the kids."
Having more time in the classroom proves beneficial to both the teacher and the student, Buhner said. With more time, the student is able to absorb more knowledge and practice with studies they are having difficulties with.
"Even a skilled teacher struggles with how many minutes they have to work with the kids," said Buhner.
Teachers are given the opportunity to spend more time getting to know the students and their individual needs, learning more about specific areas where individual students need more concentrated teaching.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Tim Backus said teachers lose a lot of time during the day when the students come in and have to take their coats (and boots if it is snowing or raining) off, mingle with their friends and get settled in their seats. More time is lost at the end of the day when the students have to repeat this process.
With less transitions, Backus said, the class is able to go on more smoothly without interruptions.
Backus said that one of the concerns of the teachers was having the kindergarteners go through a lunch period, but that the students seem to be adjusting to that easily as well.