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April 29, 2009 > Full Day Kindergarten

Full Day Kindergarten

Submitted By Rick La Plante

Full-day kindergarten, successfully implemented at four New Haven Unified School District elementary schools during the past two years, will be in place at Searles Elementary in 2009-10, Superintendent Kari McVeigh announced.

Acting on studies showing that full-day kindergarten can lead to increased student achievement and accelerated behavioral and social development, the District instituted full-day kindergarten as a pilot program at Pioneer Elementary in 2007-08. Three other schools - Alvarado Elementary, Hillview Crest Elementary and Kitayama Elementary - implemented it in 2008-09.

"The program has been an unqualified success, and I think we're about to see how a full-day kinder program can impact student achievement," Chief Academic Officer Glynn Thompson said. "The students who were in kindergarten at Pioneer in 07-08 will be in second grade next year, and I'm eager to see how they do when their scores count for the first time on standardized tests."

Parents who live within the Alvarado, Hillview Crest, Kitayama, Pioneer and Searles attendance areas will have their children automatically enrolled in the full-day kindergarten program when they apply for enrollment in the District.

The District's two other elementary schools, Eastin and Emanuele, will retain traditional kindergarten schedules with separate half-day sessions in the morning and afternoon.

"We have many parents for whom a morning or afternoon kindergarten is a better option for their child, and we want to maintain that opportunity at one school on each side of Interstate 880," Superintendent McVeigh explained.

Eastin and Emanuele parents can apply for an inter-district transfer to have their child enrolled at one of the sites offering full-day kindergarten by calling the Centralized Enrollment Center: (510) 489-4141, ext. 200.

Full-day kindergarten is a cooperative effort between the District and the New Haven Teachers Association.

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