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Oakdale Principal on Full-Day K [POLL]

Take our poll: Do you think Montville should have full-day kindergarten?

Principal Mark Johnson took the time Wednesday to respond to a parent’s statement, , that kindergarten kids get about 1 hour and 45 minutes of instructional time in an average half-day.

 “They just do much more than that,” Johnson said.

“Kids start arriving at 8:35,” he said, “and there are morning announcements at 8:45. From then until 11:30, they work. It’s kind of crazy.

Daily, there is reading instruction, he said, followed by workshops, that give different types of instruction to different kids, according to what they need. Then there are “specials,” each of which is a half-hour of gym or art or music, or something similar.

“For four out of the five days,” he said, “You’ve got two hours right there.”

A full-day kindergarten would let teachers “allot more time to the various academic areas, and also to the socialization of kids, which we have no time for at all.”

Johnson said that by the time the day is over, children have “a good solid 2 ½ hours plus for actual instruction.”

“There is no nap time. Snacks tend to be very short and almost in some cases, working snacks,” he said.

The teachers’ obligation, he said, “is to deliver almost full-day programming in a half-day.”

Should Montville have full-day kindergarten?

The shift to full-day kindergarten would give pupils more learning time. Teachers spending more time with pupils would be able to see and address learning issues earlier. Full-day kindergarten gives children more time to strengthen social skills, and, according to one citizen who attended the meeting, could be an attractive option to any considering relocating.

But chances are, full-day kindergarten could cost more.

So what's your opinion? Please take our poll, and feel free to add your comments in the box below.

Howard January 12, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Good concept, bad idea for the fixed and low income taxpayers. If adopted it will effectively double the number of K level teachers required. The increased labor and benefit costs are too much for the taxpayers to accommodate.
halfdaykindergarten.org January 13, 2012 at 01:10 PM
If everyone jumped off a bridge would you? Please stop doing MORE of what is NOT working. We must stop trading in childhood for budget lines and test scores! ! Who says Kindergarten needs to be the new first grade? Kindergarten has changed. The kids - have not. Just because we can push them, does not mean we should. Children do not NEED Full Day Kindergarten. They need balance. Play is the work of children. Half Day Kindergarten needs to remain a choice. Studies show Half Day works. Please listen to what the experts have to say – The Alliance for Childhood, Race to Nowhere, The Finland Phenomenon… Look to what IS working. Listen to the experts. Take a stand… Protect the children, and preserve the rights of parents. – HalfDayKindergarten.Org
WillyB January 13, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I believe (and there's lots of research to back it up) that full-day kindergarten is likely to be more effective than half-day kindergarten. However, reviews of the literature (one, for example: http://www.bridgew.edu/Library/CAGS_Projects/CMCAULIFFE/website/revoResDocs/fVsH.htm), strongly suggest that simply adding more time to the kindergarten day does not improve student effectiveness. Too often lately choices being made about the curriculum in kindergarten is being pushed by standardized test results and as such the curriculum is moving more and more towards direct and rote instruction in kindergarten- with reductions in time for purposeful play, art, science, and other non-math and reading activities. Kindergarten is no place for these test-focused curricula. If a full day kindergarten program is seen solely as a means to improve test scores, then I agree with the above commenter than more is not better. However, research has shown that well-designed, student-centered kindergarten programs are even more effective has full-day programs. I'd like more information about the planned curriculum before forming an opinion on the matter. It makes a big difference.

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