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May 28, 2008 > Schools go to full-day kindergarten

Schools go to full-day kindergarten

Submitted By Rick LaPlante

Full-day kindergarten, successfully tried out this year at Pioneer Elementary School, will be adopted at three more schools: Alvarado Elementary, Hillview Crest Elementary and Kitayama Elementary for the 2008-09 school year, the New Haven Unified School District announced on Monday, May 19.

Acting on studies showing that full-day kindergarten can lead to increased student achievement and accelerated behavioral and social development, New Haven Unified, in a cooperative effort with the New Haven Teachers Association, tested seven full-day classes this year at Pioneer, where 138 kindergartners are enrolled.

"The program has been so successful, and we've heard from so many parents at other schools asking for a similar program, that we wanted to expand it," Superintendent Dr. Pat Jaurequi said. "(NHTA President) Charmaine Kawaguchi and the Association have taken the initiative to make this happen next year at Alvarado, Hillview Crest and Kitayama, and it's our hope that we eventually will be able to phase in the program at all of our schools."

Preliminary plans are for seven classes at Pioneer and Hillview Crest and six at Alvarado and Kitayama, Dr. Jaurequi said.

"Almost everyone in education agrees that full-day kindergarten should be adopted wherever and whenever possible," Dr. Jaurequi said. "It gives children a solid start on academics and it gives their parents the comfort of knowing that their children are in a safe, caring environment all day."

Parents who live within the Alvarado, Hillview Crest, Kitayama and Pioneer attendance areas will have their children automatically enrolled in the full-day kindergarten program when their children apply for enrollment in the District. Other parents can apply for a transfer by calling the Centralized Enrollment Center: (510) 471-1100, ext. 2350.

"Demand exceeded supply at Pioneer this year, and I'm sure it will happen again," said Kathy Moniz, Executive Director of Student Services. "Parents need to enroll their children as soon as possible."

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