Implement Full Day Kindergarten: CCSD Residents only

This petition made change with 512 supporters!

Our youngest learners are falling behind right from the start.  In 1991, 280 school districts out of 700 in the state of New York offered only half day kindergarten.  Carmel was no different than 40% of the state's districts.  But this was 25 years ago and times have changed, along with most of the state's school districts.  Currently, according to a recent New York Times article, there are only 26 districts in our state that offer half day kindergarten.  That means that 96% of the state's kindergarteners are getting a full day's education with reading, writing, math, social studies, science, the arts, and valuable time for socializing.  In fact, 76% of all schools in the country have full day kindergarten.  We ask, why not us?

We ask the board to seriously consider this as an important option.  Mahopac and Brewster went full day in 2013.  Yorktown and Katonah-Lewisboro went full day this year.  In the previously mentioned NY Times article, the author writes:

The districts offering half-day kindergarten typically cope by offering less instruction in science, social studies, arts and music, and not having lunch and recess, which offer opportunities for socializing. The core topics of math and reading, too, are compressed, just as students are facing new, more rigorous Common Core standards.

This was echoed by one of our very own Carmel district kindergarten teachers in an open letter to the New York State Teacher's Union appropriately titled "Kindergarten runs out of time."  The teacher writes, "we are teaching a first grade curriculum and expecting full year results in less than half a day." "No time to learn to love learning, no time to learn through exploration and play, just no time."  Not to mention, Kindergarteners also lose an entire extra week or more of learning with half days and delayed openings.  It’s not working for our district that has to play catch up with standardized tests and mandates from the state, it’s not working for our students who are in school for less hours and days, it’s not working for our teachers who have no time, and it’s not working for our parents who sometimes have to spend thousands a year extra on daycare and to help reinforce these skills at home.

So let's not lose out anymore and give our youngest learners an opportunity to have the same level of education as nearly all other kindergarteners in our state.  Parents, teachers, administrators can all agree on the importance of moving our district in this direction.  Let's work together and find a way. 

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