By Debra Gaskill Special Correspondent
February 20, 2014
By Debra Gaskill
BEAVERCREEK — City schools will be following in the path of more than three-quarters of all Ohio schools when it offers all-day, every-day kindergarten classes next fall.
The vote to change from an alternate-day, all day program to an all-day, every day schedule was taken at Thursday’s board of education meeting and will become effective in August at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.
According to the Ohio Department of education’s Office of Early learning and School Readiness, 78 percent of public and community school districts in Ohio offer all day/every day kindergarten.
“We believe that all-day/every day kindergarten will allow our district to better address students’ short- and long-term educational needs, and we plan to review the program annually to ensure its effectiveness,” said Superintendent Bill McGlothlin, Ed. D.
Such a move “level(s) the playing field for our kids and provide(s) them with a stronger foundation,” he said.
McGlothlin also notes that districts without all-day/every day kindergarten are responsible for reaching the same benchmarks for student achievement and growth over time as districts that offer such programs. “By moving to an all-day/every day schedule, we level the playing field for our kids and provide them with a stronger foundation,” he said.
This decision marks Beavercreek Schools’ first foray into all-day/every day kindergarten, an idea administrators considered a move to an all-day/every day schedule for at least 10 years.
Beavercreek offered half-day kindergarten until 2011-12, when budget cuts led school leaders to institute an all-day/alternating day program to save money by transporting kindergartners to school with elementary school students.
Since the district instituted its all-day/alternating day program, enrollment has hovered at approximately 375 students each year. If enrollment remains at this level, district leaders expect to hire eight to 10 additional kindergarten teachers to staff the all-day/every day program, school officials estimate.
McGlothlin said an all-day/every day program will allow the district to double instructional time in every kindergarten classroom and expand opportunities for in-depth, age-appropriate instruction in core subjects, such as English language arts and mathematics.
Classes will have more time available for the study of science, social studies, art, music and physical education and more time for enhanced social interaction, school officials said.
The new schedule will also help teachers become better acquainted with individual students’ needs while offering additional opportunities for one-on-one instruction and communication with parents.
“We believe that all-day/every day kindergarten will allow our district to better address students’ short- and long-term educational needs, and we plan to review the program annually to ensure its effectiveness,” said McGlothlin.