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School District Offers Longer Kindergarten Day

New Kindergarten Wrap Around program will have some Madison kindergartners staying for a full school day.

A new Kindergarten Wrap Around program that will let some parents pay tuition to keep their kindergartners in school for a full day instead of just a half day is due to start in September, and some spaces in the program still are open, Superintendent Dr. Michael Rossi said Thursday.

The approved three teachers and three aides for the new program at its last meeting. Teachers and administrators will draft plans over the summer for the first month, and then develop plans for future months as the year progresses.

Rossi said there is no rigid curriculum established for the program, but that the district would take parents' input into consideration, and that the district takes seriously the fact parents will be leaving their 5-year-olds in school for the full day.

"It's very important for young children to feel very comfortable," Rossi said. "This is their first time in school ever."

Rossi said the program is a daycare alternative that came about through parent requests when he met with parents last year.

The program can hold about 50 students, and about 30 kindergartners are currently registered. Thirty students was the number needed to have the program "break even" to fund the six positions, for a total of $135,000. The teachers are paid $30,000 a year and the aides are paid $15,000 a year.

Tuition is $450 a month. Parents interested in registering should contact Rossi at rossim@madisonpublicschools.org or 973-593-3100.

Sam Cavaliere July 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
this is a great opportunity for parents who have expressed wishes to have full kindergarten for some time. Some parents pay as much as 9 times this for kindergarten in certain private schools, but more reasonably parents can expect to pay as much as twice this. Its a good program and it moving in the right direction since it is a program that concievably pays for itself.
Mrs. Clean July 07, 2012 at 12:39 PM
I agree that there is a demand for full day kindergarten but public education should be free to all.
Sam Cavaliere July 08, 2012 at 05:31 AM
There is a free option. It's half day kindergarten. This gives parents an alternative is cost effective to parents and can be worked into the budget by generating revenue. This is an example of being creative. Here in CA Our district offers extended care for students for before and after school as well as summer. It is a fee based solution and the kids that attend love it. perhaps that might be something for the district as well.

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