To the Editor:
My husband and I grew up in Middlesex County, and while we were quite satisfied with the education we received, we knew we wanted better for our two children (currently 5 and 2). We chose Bridgewater specifically for that reason. The accolades the district has received are numerous and we had the highest of hopes for our children. But then as our son was finishing Pre-K we learned that BRRSD was not as we thought - it did not have full day kindergarten! I couldn’t believe it - how could such an idyllic town with such lofty standards not have full day kindergarten? How could we expect our kids to truly be prepared if we’re not preparing them from day one?
I am a high school English teacher in Woodbridge. I know that my students are well past the years of worrying about kindergarten, but I also know how utterly important preparation is. I am preparing my students for college and the real world. Their middle school teachers prepared them for high school, and so on. Kindergarten is the foundation for all of it, the cornerstone of education. I feel like we are doing a huge disservice to our community by cutting the kindergarten day so short. A close family member is a kindergarten teacher in a full day district and even she has a hard time fitting everything in a full day! What then are our teachers forced to cut out when they’re so limited? What are our kids missing out on? When you factor in all the specials, etc. how much valuable time is lost in a half day? The lack of time is preposterous.
My son currently attends Adamsville and spends the remainder of the day at another facility. To be honest, the other facility is a glorified daycare. Some days they try to reinforce the skills being learned at Adamsville, but they don’t seem to be following any real curriculum. And most days when I ask my son what he did there, his response is, “Play.”
Don’t get me wrong, his teachers at Adamsville are wonderful and they do what they can in the time they are afforded. But while my son has been successful there, it pains me to think of where he’d be if he’d been given more of an opportunity. A half day does not offer the teachers enough time to accommodate the needs of all the children. I can only imagine what more the teachers could be doing with the curriculum, what more our children could be capable of with more time. They deserve that much.
This is one letter of many. I am far from alone in these ideas. So why is the board not listening to the community?