Full-day K decision to come early next year

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REGION 16 — A decision on whether to implement full-day kindergarten in Region 16 is two months away. Between now and then the public will get a few more chances to speak their mind on the subject.

The Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, is considering making the change to full-day kindergarten in the 2015-16 school year. Early this year a full-day kindergarten planning committee was put together to study making the switch. The tasks for the committee include developing the curriculum and determining the financial impact of full-day kindergarten.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin provided an update on the where the matter stands at the school board’s Dec. 17 meeting.

Yamin said the planning committee is slated to give its report, including the financial ramifications of going to full-day kindergarten, and its recommendation to the school board at the Jan. 28 meeting. The board will be asked to take action on implementing full-day kindergarten at its Feb. 25 meeting, he said.

Before the planning committee gives its report there will be a few more opportunities for the public to discuss the issue with school officials.

Questions and answer sessions are scheduled for Jan. 12 at Algonquin School in Prospect and Jan. 13 at Laurel Ledge School in Beacon Falls. Both sessions are open to the community and will run from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

The district is also planning to schedule one session at night for people who can’t make it to the ones in the morning. As of this post time the night session hadn’t been scheduled.

The district hosted a forum on full-day kindergarten in November. A video of the forum can be viewed on the region’s website, www.region16ct.org.

Yamin said the question and answer sessions are to address any lingering comments or concerns from the community.

“It’s a way to flush out any more comments, concerns or issues that were not addressed at the forum,” he said.

The school board has been discussing going to full-day kindergarten for several years. Those talks ramped up when the three-part building project was approved in 2011. The education specifications for the new Prospect Elementary School, which will replace Algonquin and Community schools, and the renovations to Laurel Ledge include space to expand to full-day kindergarten.