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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kindergarten Under Review Again

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School officials are planning to review the Westport School District’s kindergarten program again, including any potential problems with time.

The measure was included in the district’s goals, on which the Board of Education completed discussions Wednesday night.

Also included were reviewing the district’s class size guidelines, bus safety and the special education survey report.

School officials last reviewed the kindergarten program almost five years ago, and the board later rejected a proposal to implement an all-day kindergarten program.

Westport kindergartners currently attend an extended day program, which ends at 1:15 p.m.

Kristin LaFleur, a board member, said there may be things to solve potential time problems aside from extending the school day for kindergartners.

“There may be ways to do things in a more time-efficient manner,” she said. “Maybe we can find ways to use time better rather than lengthening the day.”

Possibly art teachers could come to the kindergarten class rather than the class going to the art room, she said, because it takes a lot to move children at that age.

The board also discussed bus safety matters, including bus monitors and global positioning satellite systems which would allow real-time tracking of bus movements.

School officials try to place monitors on elementary school buses, but some buses may not have a monitor.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said it is hard to recruit bus monitors.

Michael McGovern, a board member, said he can count the days rather than months or years his children have had a school bus monitor.

If the children have a monitor, however, it makes a huge difference to them, he said.

Westport began its school bus monitor program in the early 1990s after a young girl was killed under the wheels of a bus when her jacket draw string became entangled in a door.

It is one of only a handful of districts with such a program.

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Posted 06/29/06 at 09:00 AM  Permalink



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A message to the Board of Ed: Please cosider all day Kindergarten! Or at least consider it as an option! There are still people in this town where both parents work full time. Nothing against the stay at home parents, I’m just not one of them. My child is use to a full day schedule and fear that she will have a tough adjustment to kindergarten because she will honestly not want to stop her day at 1:15..or whenever the end time is now. Thank you for your consideration in this matter!

Posted by Megan Restieri on June 29, 2006 at 04:00 PM | #
 

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