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Archive for Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Teachers praise all-day K program

All day kindergarten is working in eight Lawrence public schools. District administrators, principals and parents emphasized that to the school board at tonight's meeting.

June 10, 2008

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Kindergarten teachers from area schools praised the implementation of full-day kindergarten Monday night, saying the program raised students' standardized math test scores to almost equal the national average for first-graders.

Full-day kindergarten was eliminated in 2001 and reinstated in eight elementary schools last year. The new program has boosted academic and social learning, has benefited at-risk students and gives teachers more time to identify and act upon students' strengths and weaknesses, teachers said.

Terry McEwen, director of assessment for Lawrence public schools, said the average mathematics test scores at full-day kindergarten schools was 163.9, compared with 158.1 nationally. The national average for first-graders was 164.1.

"That gives you a feeling for the fact, with full-day kindergarten, our teachers have the time to address that particular subject and our students are responding, and it appears our students are doing very well in mathematics," he said.

In tests that measure students' grasp of reading skills, such as letter naming, the number of at-risk students decreased from 21.5 percent at the beginning of the school year to 12.1 percent this spring. In contrast, the results of last year's tests resulted in an increase of at-risk students, rising to 24.7 percent, from 24.2 percent.

Superintendent Randy Weseman said he was pleased with the results, especially given that the program is only a year old.

"I think that the data are indicative of a program that's really working," he said. "It's really doing everything we hoped it would do for early childhood."

Board members expressed confidence that the full-day kindergarten program will eventually expand to all of Lawrence's elementary schools.

McEwen said the school district would follow the academic progress of students that participated in the program as a way to measure the long-term benefits of full-day kindergarten.

Comments

Confrontation 6 years, 6 months ago

This is a program where money needs to be spent. The Feds need to cut the BS spending on NASA's pet projects and Iraq, and fund more education.

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 6 months ago

And Mr. Parker's story conspicuously contains not one reference to the addtional cost of all day kindergarten.

Kelly Anderson 6 years, 6 months ago

toe (Anonymous) says: Of course the teachers like it. More money for them.I am not sure if you understand that the K teachers do not work half a day, the still work a full day....they teach am kindergarten and pm kindergarten, so they most likely will get paid less for the same class all day......the reason they like it is because they can actually get to know there students and spend quality time teaching them not get them in, teach, and get them out......

Kookamooka 6 years, 6 months ago

unfortunately, our school can't be a FT K school. It's way to small. If Lawrence wants to make this happen they are going to have to think out of the box!

irit 6 years, 6 months ago

"Board members expressed confidence that the full-day kindergarten program will eventually expand to all of Lawrence's elementary schools."No specific plan, no dates and on the mean time, half of the K parents in town have to be very create and pay alot for private after-K or private K if they need also to work...

Tristan Moody 6 years, 6 months ago

NASA's FY2008 Budget: $17.3 BillionUS Dept. of Ed.'s FY2008 Budget: $68.6 BillionYou could eliminate NASA completely and that wouldn't even allow for a 25% increase in the US. Dept. of Ed.'s budget. Consider that NASA also provides an otherwise irreplaceable value to the educational world: inspiration. Students were entering math, science, and engineering fields of study in record levels when the space race was on. As NASA's funding dropped, so too did students' interest as truly amazing feats of engineering were deemed no longer worth the government's time and money.Increase educational funding by all means, but cutting programs like NASA (along with similar programs such as NSF and the like) is like throwing away your fertilizer. Educational programs have to be funded, but students need inspiration to WANT to take advantage of the educational programs we already offer.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Yea, STRS, with these hard economic times, those kindergartners need to be willing to make sacrifices for the greater good (unless, of course, their parents are in the top 5% income bracket.)

Nikki May 6 years, 6 months ago

I think my child benefited greatly from all day K. We work with him at home, but he's the type of kid who does better when someone besides mom and dad teach him something. In my aftercare class, I can usually tell the kids who have had all day kindergarten based on their literacy skills alone. Sure, there are some exceptions to that, but not many.

Joel Hood 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't believe that ALL kids benefit from all day K. We put ourselves in a position so that my wife could stay home with our kids. There is no way one teacher could give our children the same attention my wife did. Our kids now excel academically & socially. I am not trying to imply that this is best for all kids - clearly some are better in all day K. But, I would have been very upset had we made the sacrifice for one of us to stay home, for the benefit of our kids, only to be told, "sorry - you get to lose 3.5 hours per school day with your child so they can get less one on one attention..." I know we were fortunate to have this option, but it seems rather nanny-state-ish for the district to apply all day K to every family.

Ronda Miller 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree with hayhawk, children are so individual that saying an all day program provides better learnng opportunities for all children is nonsense. We were lucky to be able to homeschool and the reports I have seen on students who are homeschooled excel by far the stats on children who do not. Check out the recent winners of spelling contests over the last few years for starts. I realize that most people don't have the option to home school their children, or stay at home with them, but the longer a child can be in a loving, caring home with great one on one instruction the better the child is. I know I was taught to read by the age of three and my children both read at that age - one on one is far better than 25 on 1. Some children who are quite ready to begin school at four or five are not allowed to because of age guide lines, other children are just not ready until they are six or seven. We need to look at our chlldren as individuals which the school system can not adequately do when they are grouping them by an age cut-off.Allow our children to be chldren, offer them love, support, appropriate toys, travel, learning experiences, trips to museums, etc., and they will learn - you can't keep them from it!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Much of NASA's budget is nothing more than thinly disguised military pork spending. That could easily be cut and the money better spent elsewhere-- even if it's kept in NASA for actually usual scientific research.

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