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Plymouth-Canton Schools to Pursue All-Day Kindergarten

Board of Education agrees to further explore logistics of expanded instruction time.

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.

Cathy Donaldson November 30, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Ok, I know I am in the minority on this topic, but I have to speak up. I do not think a full-day of kindergarten is in any way in the best interest of the child. That is a long day and a huge adjustment for such a young child. Some kids at that age still take naps! Going from home, to a half day of kindergarten is a much better way of easing the kids into school. I do not see how down the road this will make any difference to how the kids perform in later grades. It seems like a bunch of "studies" is just to convince parents this is for the best. It is convenient for working parents and help solve their babysitting woes, will "double the amount of per-pupil aid", but in my opinion it is NOT what is best for the child.
jones November 30, 2011 at 02:30 PM
My child is in all day kindergarten at the charter school and I think it is wonderful! I was really worried about how the adjustment would be but I am very pleased with how well these children handle it. They do get breaks and recess. Plus most kids these days have been through 2 years of preschool before kindergarten comes around so they are ready for more days and more time spent at school. I do believe that the schools need to up the curriculum if they are going to take on full day. My oldest learned nothing in kindergarten at Fiegel it was a play time as far as I was concered. Time to start teaching these kids to read!
SB November 30, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Maybe they could split it up so they could have transition time. Have them there for a half day until Christmas break and then go for a full day for the second half of the school year. Combine the am class with the pm class for a full day. Gives a couple of months where the teacher would get to work with half of the kids at a time to get a good assessment for the second half. I don't know how fiscally possible that is but there are plenty of kids who have parents at home with no need for daycare or the money for preschool, kids that much time would be a detriment because they're just not ready or are the younger side of the age limit. There's also plenty who would thrive and we shouldn't hold hem back either.
Cathy Donaldson November 30, 2011 at 05:13 PM
Jerry, although you make many good points, I do think your last statement is a bit of an exaggeration. :) Yes, there needs to be some change in what is taught in kindergarten, but I don't see how the American dream will collapse with a 1/2 day kindergarten. My grandfather started a small business in Michigan over 50 years ago which has grown, thrived and now has a 4th generation starting there! I know he, along with his 3 sons, did not have full day kindergarten. There are many factors that will determine how kids will do in the future, with their parents and home life playing a huge part. Some kids may adjust just fine, others may struggle, and start off with a dislike of school. SB..you present a very interesting idea! I have accepted that full-day kindergarten with be the new "normal". My grandson will be in kindergarten next year. I am sure he will adjust if he needs to, but overall, I still do not think the focus on this is what is best for the children.
jones November 30, 2011 at 09:48 PM
Cathy how can full day kindergarten not be in your grandson's best interest? 1/2 day kindergarten is 2.5 hours and is at least an hour of playing. Most kindergarteners have nothing better to do but be in school, learning, socializing and having fun. I think it is the parents who are resisting this not the kids I don't thhink that this has anything to do with education according to the article it is all about the money that the district wants per pupil. It all comes down to money.
Danna November 30, 2011 at 09:55 PM
Some children maybe able to handle a full day and some may not.My concern is if full-time happens what would a parent say if she doesn't want her child to be a full timer? And let's remember the special needs children who can't handle a full day.Where do we stand as a parent?
Tim Stamp November 30, 2011 at 09:58 PM
What a horrible idea. Kids today already don't get enough interaction with their actual parents. Also, the school system is already littered enough with pedophiles, illiterate teachers, and ultra left wing agenda pushers. The last thing we need is the NEA to have even more time to brainwash our kids. Not to mention this will inevitably raise the taxes. Message to current parents: Raise your own kids, or don't have them!
Cathy Donaldson November 30, 2011 at 11:07 PM
jones...where do I even begin to answer your question? I think 8:15am (getting on bus) to 4 pm (getting off bus) is a very long day for a child in kindergarten. If people are concerned about progress, then change the curriculum, but don't extend the hours. Many kids these days have attention issues, develop emotionally at different levels, and to start going to school every day for the first time takes adjustment, and I think a half day is a better way to make this adjustment. I raised 3 kids and am surprised you would say they have nothing better to do. When they are home with a parent or grandparent, they can be reading, doing crafts, puzzles, outings to the library, parks, taking lessons, playing outside with other kids, cuddling with a parent when they are having a bad day, etc. BONDING! They are young for such a short time and I think time at home is important and can be used teach them things at their pace. Let's not forget the importance of play time alone, also. Playing quietly with a dollhouse, train set, etc. is very important for kids in this busy society and helps develop their imagination. Well, I could keep going, but as I said....I know there are different views on this and I respect everyone's perspective. This is just how I personally feel.
DownUpside1 December 01, 2011 at 01:16 AM
My experience with other families in the district is that a large percentage have either both parents working outside the home or would prefer that both parents have full-time jobs outside the home. Most family budgets don't easily allow one parent to stay at home. The underlying opinion of some posters that without full-day kindergarden, parents would choose not to work is just rediculous. Lots of kids are already in full-time day care. Those opposed to full-day kindergarden are able to home school their children if they so choose.
jones December 01, 2011 at 01:21 AM
I think that this all sounds like great activities for children. I think that if you truely are doing all these educational things with your children than your a step above most and I applaude you as a parent/grandparent. I am just saying that I was very reluctant about full day kindergarten and three months into the school year I am pleased with all the extra progress I see in my kindergartener. I know that when my oldest was in kindergarten the learning was very minimal. I know that there are special needs kids that may not be able to handle this however those are the exception not the rule. If you look at the school numbers and the number of kids who don't attend kindergarten in PCPS you can clearly see that some people choose not to send a child til first grade and others use other local kindergartens because they surrounding districts all have full day kindergarten. May people work full time and end up using a day care for the second half of the day anyhow.
Tim Stamp December 01, 2011 at 01:26 AM
Whoever said full-time daycare is good? It's not, and if you can't take the time as a parent to properly raise your child, then you shouldn't have one. Many people live outside of their means anyway, and with a little logic and some thought, many would be able to thrive on one income. My family has with 3 kids, and we started out in the poverty income class. And homeschool? What a great idea! Can we stop paying as much taxes for public schools our children wouldn't go to and buy books to do homeschooling? Or maybe get vouchers for it? Oh yeah, the libs shot that down years ago. Guess we're outta luck!
HalfDayKindergarten.org December 02, 2011 at 12:59 PM
If everyone jumped off a cliff would you? Just because you CAN push children does not mean you SHOULD. The justification for full day always comes down to performance and convenience. Kindergarten needs to remain kindergarten and should not be 1st or 2nd grade. We are trading in our children for test scores! Children deserve a childhood. They need balance. Please. Protect the children and preserve the rights of parents. www.HalfDayKindergarten.org
P December 03, 2011 at 06:46 AM
Michigan distributes per pupil revenue has long allowed public schools to get twice what they really deserved for half-day kindergarten students. And charging for extended day kindergarten amounts to taxing residents twice. For this and other reasons I support a district-wide switch to a no-fee All Day Kindergarten program. If the full time Kindergarten program becomes the only program available, parents are still able to take their child out after just the 1/2 day, remember attendance in K is not State Mandated.
DownUpside1 December 03, 2011 at 11:06 AM
It's easy to have ideals Tim. The reality is that the most families have/prefer 2 working parents. The reality is that these children are in day care. Until you are able to lobby the lawmakers to make day cares illegal and enforce a law that enforces 1 parent in the home at all time, your rants are not addressing a solution to the actual topic of full or half day kindergarden.
DownUpside1 December 03, 2011 at 11:10 AM
I couldn't agree more with P. Kindergarten is not mandatory. If a parent feels that the day would be too long, then they should not enroll the child.
HalfDayKindergarten.org December 06, 2011 at 03:05 AM
Once full day replaces half day, the next move will be to mandate it and then Preschool is next. Dont believe me? Go ahead... Google DAYCARE. Day cares are being wiped out. Soon there will be not choice. Even homeschooling is under fire. The writing is on the wall for those who are willing to see it...
emily December 12, 2011 at 08:14 PM
I went to full day kindergarten at a Catholic school in the late 90's, and when I switched to public school in 1st grade, I was much farther ahead than the other kids who had only gone to half-day. It allows kids to get a good foundation and makes 1st grade more productive for learning, since the kids don't have to adjust to a full day of school.
HalfDayKindergarten.org December 13, 2011 at 01:06 PM
Here is the strategy... Offer full day kindergarten, and Government funding kicks in... Put enough pressure on the community and half day fades away... More Govt funding kicks in once all kindergarten classes are full day... Then mandate it... Move on to preschool... We are talking about your toddlers, parents. Half day K is the front line. Do not give in...You are trading in your children for budget lines and test scores... Half day needs to remain a choice! Please protect the children, and preserve the rights of parents!!!
HalfDayKindergarten.org December 13, 2011 at 01:16 PM
We are not only behind, we are backwards. Doing more of what is already not working is not the answer. What a tragic thing to do to our children. They need balance. They need time with family, time outside, time unstructured, to play, undirected by adults. Play IS the work of children. Yet, we insist we can do it better for them... in classrooms. Wake up. Less is more! Look at what IS working - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8601207.stm
John L. December 13, 2011 at 05:06 PM
This comment is addressed to Tim Stamp. Are you truly saying that if a family can't afford to have one parent stay home fulltime then they shouldn't have children? I have 3 very well adjusted children that have been in daycare for most of their lives. Just because my children are in daycare does not, by any means indicate that my children have not been "properly raised". I think it is much more irresponsible to be having children when you are in the poverty income class. I am hardly living outside of my means, but with two working parents I am able to provide for my children, their future education and my own retirement.
John L. December 13, 2011 at 05:09 PM
And, by the way, "daycare" has mean definitions. Parents may be working, but perhaps the child is at home with a grandparent, aunt, friend, or even some actual daycare centers where the child has been able to form a bond with a caregiver. Studies by top psychologists show that children that are able to form bonds with a caregiver other than the parents have an easier time making and keep friendships later on in life. Obviously being home with your children is ideal and nothing can replace that, but there is plenty of research that shows that when good daycare situations are used there are very positive results. It is very sad that you are so quick to judge families and situations that you don't know anything about.
John L. December 13, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Sending children to daycare DOES NOT mean that you are not raising your own children. Its nice to have the ability to stay home, but not everyone does. In reality, most families need two working parents and have good, reliable daycare situations with good caregivers.
Maddiex January 06, 2012 at 08:03 PM
My children are all grown, but when they were young I left a career to stay home and raise them. It was really hard financially, but I think having them in Preschool 2 days a week at age 3, then 3 days a week at age 4, then half day k at 5 was the way to go. Not to so much baby them, but to balance out their days. If they are tired after lunch at school they can get irritated and shut down, and start to dislike school. I am in my mid-40's and I had half day kindergarten myself, and that is what I preferred for my kids as well. They are only age 3-5 for such a short time and I am glad I got a chance to spend that extra time with them. They are in all day school for 12+ years and the time that they are young is priceless. The district will hopefully find some way to be able to offer both options to parents.
Christina February 03, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I agree with some of the other posters on here. I have paid for daycare for 4 years now. It would be nice to put my tax money to work. My child should have every right to go to kindergarten a full-day to the district that I pay taxes to. She loves being in school and learning. I am amazed at what she knows now and she is only 4.5 years old. I spend all the time that I can with my children outside of work and school. Just because we work doesn't mean that we are not taking care of our children and spending time with them. We just do it in a different way. Maybe they can have full-time and part-time kindergarten be a choice. With the economy, not everyone is getting paid what they should get paid for their jobs. We are a very hard-working family and enjoy having the money to take our kids places, put away for college and retirement, allow them to play in sports, and not have to panic and be stressed about the bills. We do not live beyond our means as we have proved through many layoffs. Just because we both work, we should not be judged as we are not judging the people who can afford to be SAHMs. THat's great and I wish we could comfortably. But honestly, I would still send my daughter to full-day kindergarten just to get the education.

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