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Yorktown CSD to Present 'Comprehensive Review' of Full-Day Kindergarten

Information will be presented at the district-wide PTSA meeting on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Mildred E. Strang Middle School.

Yorktown community members will be able to learn exactly what Yorktown Central School District officials are investigating for the proposed full-day kindergarten during a Jan. 29 meeting at the middle school. 

"A lot of the preliminary information will be discussed with the community," Assistant Superintendent of Business Tom Cole said at the school board's meeting on Monday. "It will be a really comprehensive review of full-day kindergarten, so we encourage the community to attend."

A community forum is also planned for February, but the time and date has yet to be announced. 

School officials are revisiting the idea of full-day kindergarten and are hoping to implement the program for the next school year. Yorktown currently operates a half-day kindergarten and the idea to implement the full-day program has been discussed for years. But when it was last proposed in 2006, the public voted it down because of financial reasons.

Cole said district officials have received a new demographic study that is "far more in-depth" than what they've looked at before.

"One of the significant elements of our investigation into the feasibility of full-day kindergarten is going to be the demographic study," he said.

The demographic study tells officials what the enrollment rate would be once full-day kindergarten is implemented and beyond. It also looks at what the community looks like right now in terms of the number of families in the community who have children in the schools and what the economic status of the community is. 

Click here to read the demographic study.

In a description on the school district's website, Yorktown Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Napolitano said there has been a decrease in enrollment which means that the school district can house a full-day program without additional renovation costs.

"Our population has decreased, allowing for more usable space within our current buildings," he said at a previous school board meeting. "We do not believe there would be any additional monies that would be needed to expand to allow this program to take place."

In addition, the common core curriculum has increased which had led to the increased amount of work that is required for elementary school students. Teachers need more time with the children, Napolitano said.

"Throughout the Westchester area and across the state, full-day kindergarten is flourishing," he wrote on the school district's website. "In Yorktown, we place ourselves at a significant disadvantage if we fail to take full advantage of this opportunity with our youngest learners."

For more information on the Yorktown Central School District's exploration of full-day kindergarten, click here.

Cole said officials are working with the State Department of Education to figure out the costs. By the end of January, he said district officials will have all the needed information and will be able to give community members the "complete picture" in time for the community forum in February. 

"We are anxious to put the puzzle pieces together and present it all to you," Assistant Superintendent of Instructions Florence O'Connor said. 

The district-wide PTSA meeting, discussing full-day kindergarten, will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Mildred E. Strang Middle School cafeteria. 

What do you think of full-day kindergarten? Should Yorktown implement it? Why/why not? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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