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Friday, February 18, 2011

Comment about the possibility of a half-day kindergarten program

I have serious concerns about the proposal to run a 1/2-day kindergarten program. These students will be put at a huge disadvantage at a time with the state is proposing higher standards and expectations on children in kindergarten. A 1/2-day program will have long lasting negative effects on this district. The children will be less successful readers in 1st grade, which will put them behind for 2nd grade and will lead to lower state test scores in 3rd grade.


  1. There are schools around the capital district that still have 1/2 day kindergarten but are ranked among the best for education - North Colonie and Bethlehem come to mind. However, I do agree with your concern and I do wonder what could possibly be accomplished in 1/2 a day that would prepare these children for first grade and beyond. What is also troubling is what this does to working parents who would now have to determine how to make arrangements for their children when they are not in school. If this is being done to save the district - and also the taxpayers - some money I don't see where this ultimately helps if parents/taxpayers now have to pay for additional day care.

  2. What is it going to cost to add an additional bus run each day for the kindergarteners? Not to mention the wear and tear on the buses themselves. Seems like this option wouldn't save our district much money and it would significantly impact the education of our students.

  3. What is the cost of running the buses to transport these kindergarten children home if it is changed to half day?

  4. It is not mandatory that the district transport kindergarten children because offering kindergarten at all is not mandatory. If the district does revert to half-day kindergarten AND chooses to transport these students, it could cost in excess of approximately $50,000. The exact cost is difficult to determine without knowing the details.

    -answered by Stephen Tomlinson, Superintendent of Schools