All-day kindergarten might soon become a reality at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.
The Board of Education gave a thumbs-up vote, which isn't binding, to further pursue implementing all-day kindergarten in the district's schools. While costly, the decision would maintain the amount of per-pupil aid Plymouth-Canton would receive from the state for kindergarten students under state legislation that will be enacted in 2012. With half-day kindergarten, the district would lose half of its funding when the legislation goes into effect.
In a presentation to the board, administrator and former principal Kurt Tyszkiewicz said all but three elementary buildings in the district would be equipped for all-day kindergarten. , and , he said, lack sufficient space for an all-day curriculum.
While the full budget impact is yet to be determined, Tyszkiewicz said running all-day kindergarten, while costly, would cost the district less than not offering all-day classes at that level.
Fellow administrator and former principal Peter Kudlak cited benefits to going to all-day kindergarten outside of the budget impact, including increased individual instruction and being able to better tailor the academic curriculum toward students' individual needs.
Studies conducted on all-day kindergarten graduates, he said, indicate fewer instances of students being held back, increased attendance, fewer placements in special education and fast gains in literacy and language skills in later grades.
Additional changes to kindergarten students' curriculum would include dedicated subjects, versus composite learning periods.
Interim Superintendent Jeremy Hughes asked the board for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote to gauge whether all-day kindergarten was worth pursuing. The board unanimously gave the thumbs-up vote.