Petition to Change the Kindergarten Program to a Full Day

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Petition to Change the Kindergarten Program to a Full Day

1.      The increasing academic needs within K-6 now demand a full day kindergarten program. The kindergarten curriculum requires more time and higher learning expectations than ever before. Educational requirements are increasing and so the class time needs be adjusted for it. With such a tight schedule, the children currently have an environment which is not conducive to the children developing a healthy love of school at an early age. Some families even report that their kindergarten child brings home more homework than their older students.

2.      Many students are already prepared for a longer school day, having attended preschool or pre-K programs with more weekly hours than the current half day kindergarten program. That experience has shown they are already prepared and able to spend that much time in the classroom environment. The additional time would allow them to not only fit in the curriculum needs, and to practice and understand the work, but to also develop the emotional, social and relational ties needed at this age.

3.      According to National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a healthy kindergarten program provides enough time (at least an hour a day) for play and exploring, and the development of the whole child, not just academics. A full day program allows for this in a more relaxed atmosphere. NAEYC also shows that children of all levels are better prepared for first grade, and that a full day program can increase overall academic achievement.

4.      With the current half day program, many kindergarten students spend almost as much time on the school bus as they do in school. With the consolidations and the closing of the closest elementary school to my home, for example, my daughter spends up to 50 minutes each way on the bus for 2 hours and 20 minutes of afternoon kindergarten. With a full day program, that ratio would improve, and the bus ride would be a much more worthwhile journey.

5.      Enrollment in the district is projected to continue to decrease, making NOW the right time to examine the possibility of full day. We can use the decrease to make a positive impact on the school environment for our kindergarten children.

We ask the Butler Area School District to enhance the kindergarten program to full day structure.