CALDWELL, NJ — For more than a year, parents of the Caldwell-West Caldwell school district have been attending board of education meetings to address the need for a full-day kindergarten program in town. On Monday, Superintendent of Schools James Heinegg updated the public on the progress of the full day kindergarten referendum.
In a recent survey sent out to district parents in August, 61 percent of parents reported that they felt there was a need for a full-day kindergarten program in the district.
However, with class size already a concern, full-day kindergarten would require a new facility, either short term or long term, to help alleviate some of the overcrowding in the classrooms.
Although it was originally suggested that an addition be added onto Harrison School, it was later determined that it would be more beneficial to add onto the Middle School and have fifth grade students move to this new location.
Although many details are still undecided, Heinegg said all plans are on schedule and the referendum should be ready to vote on in September.
“We just received the plans from the architect and we have submitted them to the state for approval,” he said. “We will have more information for everyone in the spring.”
Parents have had many questions and concerns regarding this referendum, specifically in regards to cost and class sizes. However, Heinegg explained that the board has decided it would be most cost effective to move forward with the current plan of adding onto the middle school in order to make room for not only kindergarten students, but also special-education classrooms.
Once the state approves the addition, the district said it will have a better understanding of how much it will cost.