Howell to Offer Half Day Kindergarten Program
Full day to be offered starting in September
At the most recent meeting of the Howell Board of Education a full day kindergarten program was adopted for schools across the district.
The adoption of the program came as good news for most people at the meeting but there were some residents who also expressed concerns. Many of the parents who said they were unsure of the switch said they did not believe their children would be prepared to spend a full day at school.
In response to these concerns the district has agreed to adopt a half day program as well according to a letter from Superintendent Enid Golden.
In a letter sent home to parents Golden said she believed the full program would be a benefit for students as they advance through the academic levels. "The catalyst for the new program was the introduction of the new Common Core Standards, which are mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education at all grade levels including kindergarten."
Golden said after a committee reviewed the new standards and the programs the district was currently offering, "It has become very clear that the standards were not developed to be part of a half day program."
The full day program will be offered at every elementary school in the district while the half day program will only be offered in one still to be determined building. "Please know that I am concerned that I am concerned that children not attending a full day program in kindergarten will be at a disadvantage when entering first grade," Golden said.
Next year, Golden said teachers in the half day programs "will focus on teaching the standards but they will not be able to reach the academic readiness skills that are equally important."
The half day program will only be offered if a minimum of 15 students sign up for the class. Golden said it will only be offered for the upcoming school year at this point. With the program only being offered in one building the students will then be returned to their home schools for first grade.
In an effort to answer more questions from parents about the new program an information session has been scheduled for April 25 at 7 p.m. at Middle School North.
Any parents interested in registering their children in the half day program must submit their request in writing. The requests can be sent to Trudy Stevenson at PO Box 579 Howell, NJ 07731 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests must be received by May 1.