Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another District Moves to All Day K

Just last week I posted an article about Farmington’s move to all-day Kindergarten.

Holly Schools in Oakland County just announced that they too are going to all day K.

Oakland Press: Kindergartners to attend school for full day (02/20/08)

You may recall that Governor Granhom was going to "ask" districts to move to all day K. I had to chuckle at the thought that these two schools are likely be counted next year as those "heeding the Governor's call", despite the fact that they embarked on the "all-day" path long before the Governor's polite request. But I digress....

Boardmember Patrick McKenney noted, “When you look at what’s going to be required of these kids to graduate, the sooner we get them academically involved, the better.”

It appears they are offing a choice for half-day, just as Farmington. But the comments from Superintendent Kent Barnes are important to consider:

Barnes said he understands some parents have concerns, and that’s why the district wanted to offer the half-day option.

“All-day kindergarten has been offered in the south and in many school districts since the ‘80s, even the late ‘70s,” Barnes said.

When Barnes was an elementary school principal in Kentucky, the district he worked for had a full-day kindergarten program that offered parents the option of picking their child up halfway through the day.

“I had one parent who wanted to try that and, after three weeks, the child said, ‘I want to stay and do stuff,’” Barnes said.

Moving to a full-day, five-day a week kindergarten program was not done because of money or any other reason, Barnes said.

“The real reason is to increase student achievement for the benefit of the child — that’s it,” he added.

“We feel it’s in the best interest of the children as far as academics.”

I hope others are listening!

==> Mike.

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