Availability of Rooms a Hindrance for Full Day Kindergarten, Board Says

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Board of education member Evan Lerner said the recently created steering committee to investigate full day kindergarten discussed different approaches and challenges for transitioning into the new system at its most recent meeting.

A major issue with creating full day kindergarten, Lerner said, is finding availability of rooms in the elementary schools. He said that before moving forward with full day kindergarten, the district will need to see how many rooms are free in each school.

Board of education president Jeffrey Brookner added that some buildings are already using their free rooms, and the situation is different for every school.

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“[We should] ask each principal if they gave up one room, what they would be giving up, then if they gave up two rooms, and so on,” he said.

Lerner stressed that they want to implement full day kindergarten in the district as soon as possible.

“It will be impossible for it to begin this school year, but it is probable for the 2015-2016 or the 2016-2017 school year,” he said. “If the program is only partly available for the 2015-2016 school year, full-day kindergarten should be made for those that need extra help academically so they are fully prepared for first grade.”

Brookner also suggested the Kinder-wrap program, which would transport students from one elementary school in the morning to one in the afternoon every day so as to help parents who are working during the day.

The steering committee will next discuss at its Sept. 23 meeting the feasibility of full day kindergarten, as well as the Kinder-wrap program.

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