The Southington Board of Education could soon make a move to provide all-day kindergarten for all students - but before a decision is made, they will look to hear from the public one more time.
School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi Jr. announced Thursday that in the wake of inclement weather that forced the Board of Education to cancel a community conversation Wednesday and board meeting Thursday, Southington schools have rescheduled the community conversation.
"Parents of incoming Kindergarten students are highly encouraged to attend this one-hour forum," Erardi said. "Administration will share information on the topic to start the hour and those in attendance will have the opportunity to ask questions related to the proposed All-Day Kindergarten platform."
The meeting will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Derynoski Elementary School auditorium.
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The latest community discussion is the second that the schools have hosted on the topic. About 300 people attended a first session in October and the reactions were generally mixed, with many people both for and against the proposal.
Under the proposed plan, the town would begin implementing the all-day program beginning in the 2013-14 program.
The town currently has a limited version, "extended learning day kindergarten," which offers an opportunity for those students identified as at-risk to fall behind in testing and state metrics to recieve additional opportunities and attention. The program was passed by the Board of Education in 2011.
The latest proposal, however, extends that opportunity to every student.
During the previous forum, Assistant Superintendent Karen Smith said the program is designed to enhance efforts to improve common core standards. According to the Record-Journal:
"We believe in a developmental approach in all-day kindergarten," Smith said. "We are hoping to return in many ways and incorporate common core standards over the entire day instead of just two and a half hours."
In large part, the new proposal has been supported by parents but there are still some who have expressed concerns over whether all children would be ready for an all-day program.
Items including space concerns and costs - the program is anticipated to cost an additional $700,000 in the school district's operating budget - have also questioned by parents.
The program on Nov. 14 is open to the public. Anyone with questions or seeking further information is also encouraged to contact the Southington schools administration at (860) 628-3202 or (860) 628-3204.
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