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.
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