Webster, N.Y. - Some caregivers say at a time when early education is key, it's about time the Webster School District extended the day for kindergarten students.
“I think full day kindergarten is implemented all over Monroe County with the exception of Webster,” grandparent Carol Catalino said.
Adele Bovard, the school district's superintendent, said the decision comes after comparing its students’ progress nationally.
“We were seeing our students start out on the benchmark and then fall below on the benchmark as the year progressed because they were getting two and a half hours of instruction,” Bovard said.
Bovard also says the state's core learning standards have risen, and implementing them requires a full day of class.
But, parents like Michelle Cilento would have liked to see this plan in place earlier for her older children.
“It probably would have been a lot easier if we had full day kindergarten, but we augmented his day with part time care with a day care,” Cilento said.
The district says kindergartners' day will focus on math and reading skills.
Students will also have lunch at schools.
But, some parents question whether young kids are ready for a full day.
The super intendent said it intends to work with students for a smooth transition.
“It is important that we look at that and design experiences for those first several weeks that give students flexibility and room to play and transition them to learning experiences,” Bovard said.
Bovard said funding for the change would come from conversion aid, or money from the state; money dedicated for schools that switch to full day kindergarten.
That funding is good for three years.
If the board decides to go to a full day, it's not known if they'll offer half day as an option.
A decision is expected December 6.