Trustees Look at School District 2 Kindergarten Program

School District 2 trustees receive a report, but take no action, on extended kindergarten days for the district's elementary schools. (Photo by Pat Blair)

For the past two years, Woodland Park Elementary School has piloted a program of extended hours for the school’s kindergarten classes, which have been dismissed at 2:55 p.m. instead of the 1:45 p.m. dismissal at Sheridan County School District 2’s other elementary schools.

Now School District 2 trustees are considering whether to expand the extended kindergarten day to other schools in the district or eliminate the extended hours at Woodland Park.

Trustees heard a report on the program and heard from bus drivers, teachers and others at their meeting Monday night. But no action was taken Monday, and Trustees Chair Craig Achord explained why not.

Mitch is the district’s Assistant Superintendent Mitch Craft, who said the trustees had five options to consider. They could eliminate the pilot program at Woodland Park, extend the pilot program for another year at the school, make the extended day permanent at Woodland Park, expand the extended-day kindergarten to the other Title 1 schools in District 2 or expand the extended-day kindergarten to all five elementary schools in the district.

District 2 Assistant Superintendent Mitch Craft presents the report on extended kindergarten days. (Photo by Pat Blair)

The district’s other Title 1 elementary schools are Henry A. Coffeen and Sagebrush.

Craft said expanding the full-day kindergarten to the other Title 1 schools would cost the district an estimated $75,000 more per year in increased staffing, and expanding full-day kindergarten to all of the elementary schools would cost the district another $150,000.

Extending the kindergarten hours at the other schools would also have an impact on the district’s bus drivers, Craft said. Because the kindergarten buses would no longer run separate bus routes, drivers of those buses would lose an hour and a half per day, a monetary loss of $150 per week or $5,300 per year.

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