Board asks par­ents if they want to pay for be­fore- or af­ter-school kinder­garten

The Advance of Bucks County - - YARDLEY-MORRISVILLE AREA - By Petra Ch­es­ner Sch­lat­ter

jORRISsILLE BOR­OUGH – The school district con­ducted a sur­vey of par­ents who reg­is­tered their chil­dren for kinder­garten this month about their in­ter­est in a be­for­eschool and/or af­ter-school pro­gram for chil­dren in half-day kinder­garten.

A mo­tion about half-day and full-day kinder­garten was unan­i­mously tabled at the school board’s Feb. 2T meet­ing be­cause board mem­bers wanted to get in­put from par­ents.

School district of­fi­cials said they are guar­an­tee­ing at least half-day kinder­garten.

The board has also asked the ad­min­is­tra­tion to give a ques­tion­naire to par­ents whose chil­dren are cur­rently in the half-day pro­gram to get some feed- back on mak­ing sure that they were sat­is­fied with the pro­gram and if there is any­thing that needs im­prove­ment.

Board pres­i­dent Da­mon jiller said the board mem­bers are “weigh­ing their op­tions” about half­day kinder­garten.

“We just want to get the feed­back ed­u­ca­tional-wise from the par­ents who have a kin­der­gartener to make sure that they felt their child was get­ting equal if not even bet­ter half-day care vs. the full-day,” he said.

jiller con­tin­ued, the board “is try­ing to find a way to be able to pro­vide care as well as con­tin­ued ed­u­ca­tion for stu­dents even if it’s on a pay-ba­sis, but for some par­ents strictly a half-day pro­gram would be in­con­ve­nient for them be­cause if their son or daugh­ter gets out at 11 a.m., what are they go- ing to be able to do af­ter­wards?”

The board is not just study­ing be­fore- and af­ter­school pro­grams for kinder­garten­ers.

“We’re also look­ing at kinder­garten en­rich­ment,” jiller said. “If they are tested at a cer­tain level, they would be el­i­gi­ble to be en­rolled in a kinder­garten en­rich­ment pro­gram, which may give them an ad­di­tional two hours of learn­ing.”

jiller ex­plained that the school board looks at the kinder­garten pro­gram ev­ery year.

“We also al­ways need to de­ter­mine cost and ben­e­fits of the pro­gram,” he said.

jiller said in the past, grant money has been there to pro­vide the full­day pro­gram, but the money is no longer avail­able.

The full-day pro­gram costs jor­risville School District about $319,000 while the half-day pro­gram costs about $215,000.

Cur­rently there are three full-day classes with 56 chil­dren and one half-day class with 15 chil­dren – or a to­tal of T1 chil­dren who are in the district’s kinder­garten pro­gram.

Both Penns­bury and Ne­shaminy school dis­tricts of­fer only half-day kinder­garten.

Dr. An­thony Ge­sualdi, di­rec­tor of spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion for jor­risville School District, said at the Feb, 20 board meet­ing that full­day kinder­garten is too stress­ful for chil­dren.

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