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Moms Talk Q & A: Full Day Kindergarten

Monroe mothers are encouraged to share their thoughts in the comments for this weekly feature

At a recent Board of Education planning session, the Board members and Dr. Palmer discussed a goal of implementing full day Kindergarten by 2013 when the enrollment has declined enough to free up classroom space at each of the three elementary schools.

What are your thoughts on this proposal?

Share your ideas in the comments

jim laguardia February 09, 2011 at 06:24 PM
"work from home dad" says this would have been ideal 5 years ago...
Alexandra Mack February 09, 2011 at 06:29 PM
I think it takes into account the growing number of families where both parents work! We were so happy to have the option of kinderacademy last year. I do think that full day kindergarten needs to be structured so the day is not all academics, the little ones need afternoon time that is not just about reading and writing.
Bonnie Meyerle February 09, 2011 at 06:38 PM
I agree with Alexandra, more gym and recess! It will be fine for my daughter, but she will be on the older side being a December birthday.
Lani February 09, 2011 at 06:40 PM
Makes me sad. We selected Monroe to buy a home in in part due to the half day kindergarten. Children this young should not be required to be separated from their families so many hours a day.
Julie Avellino February 09, 2011 at 06:47 PM
Full day kindergarten would be incredible and would actually be a factor in deciding whether or not we stay in town. I would love to see the school system offer a full day of curriculum and activities. In addition, the costs for childcare or kinderacademy and other programs is in excess of $300 dollars a month. Full day all the way!!
Joan February 09, 2011 at 06:56 PM
Since most of Southern Fairfield County already has full-day kindergarten, I think it is only a matter of time before Monroe would have to submit to it. Most towns in the New York area have had full-day kindergarten for almost 10 years. If 2013 is the projected date, than my son would be in the first full-day class for Monroe El. Even though he is so young, I think he would do fine as would all the children. Change is hard, but children seem to adapt better than adults and overall they children do need the advantage in this changing world, so I say okay to full-day kindergarten.
barbara February 09, 2011 at 07:57 PM
One of the many reasons we moved to Monroe several years ago was the half-day kindergarten program. My oldest child had full-day kindergarten where we used to live, and he was exhausted every day, it was too much. We moved to Monroe during mid-year, and my second child had been in full-day kindergarten in our previous town. The class in Monroe's half-day program was not at all behind our full-day curriculum. Our third child completed a full year of half-day kindergarten in Monroe. All three of my children were reading by the end of kindergarten, including my two who went to half-day kindergarten, and all excelled at math and science. There was no academic difference between the half and full-day programs whatsoever. I am very happy I have no more children that I would have to put through a full-day program again. It's fine for some children, but not for all. As it stands now, Monroe does offer extended days, and I'm told the cost is reasonable.
New Kid in Town February 09, 2011 at 09:38 PM
I can only speak from my own experience, but for those parents who are unsure if full-day is a good option, please listen to the facts and try to find other parents who's children are in a surrounding town that have full day. I currently live in Westport, but will be moving to Monroe by the end of 2011. Westport's schedule when my oldest child went to Kindergarten was the first year they had a Full-Day program. It wasn't full day everyday. they had 3 full day's and 2 half days. Coming from full day day-care, she transitioned well and thrived in Kindergeten. There are a few really good reason why it works so well I think for all Kids. Some of the benefits that I saw during the year. 1) the extended day gave teachers more flexibilty and time time when working on interactive lessons with the class. 2) Gave more opportunities for teachers to work one-on-one with students with reading, math skills etc. 3) Overall it was a great transition to 1st grade...No matter what, a child at some points has to transition from half days to full days at some point. i saw with alot of friends and some family members that the transition was easier to have some full days in kindergarten, then going half days to the full days in first grade. 4) Lastly, lets face it, the the majority of us out there have a two income household, and cannot afford to live any other way. for a family with both parents working, reducing after-school care is a great!
Sue DeGeorge February 09, 2011 at 11:12 PM
I am not a fan of full-day kindergarten, but fortunately will not have to worry about it as my youngest is entering kindergarten in the fall. My oldest went to full-day kindergarten when we lived in Norwalk. When compared to Monroe's 1/2 day he lost the following: 1) an extra recess, 2) a full lunch period w/recess 3) a mandatory nap time and 4) afternoon snack time. I wonder if the cost of more teachers to cover the same number of children is an added-value for Monroe? I would rather see teachers added to minimize class sizes throughout the district.
Oldblooeyz February 10, 2011 at 12:03 AM
I think it's a great idea as long as it's not glorified babysitting. My child learned more at Kindercare than they did in Kindergarten. A rigorous education should start early.
Mary Lynn February 10, 2011 at 02:02 PM
I think that all options for kindergarten are viable ones. I have had children who have gone through full day 5 day kindergarten, 2 full day and one half day kindergarten, and straight half day kindergarten. Each of them adapted well to their schedule because it was a routine. I do agree with several posters however, that the use of a full day should not consist of just fun and games, but learning time - I am not suggesting SAT prep, but fun learning centers, reading time, and volunteers to help with stories and activities. My concern with the entire discussion - budget. There are many things that our district needs - gifted and talented - textbooks!!!! and other more important things. If we expect to compete with surrounding school districts, we should be looking at world languages and high school/middle school offerings, NOT kindergarten.
barbara February 10, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Well, if we do switch to full-day kindergarten I hope Monroe El will revert back to the same schedule as the other elementary schools. The past few years we've had to follow the middle-school schedule. The bus comes at 7:40 a.m., and brings the kids home at 3:15. That's a long, early day, especially for 4/5 year olds.
K All February 10, 2011 at 05:26 PM
LOVE IT! GO GO GO full day. I would hope Monore stays up to pace with the rest of the towns.
barbara February 10, 2011 at 05:51 PM
Chris, you just admitted on the budget topic that you have no children. I guarantee you that a 4 year old child that is tired has much different behavior than than an adult who is feeling tired. And you say "it's usually more the parent not wanting to deal with their crankiness than the child hating the 6 hour school day"---- please don't make such broad assumptions of other people's parenting, especially since you don't even have children of your own. I have lived through this, I speak from experience.
barbara February 10, 2011 at 06:10 PM
Well, at least she gets paid for making rude statements to the parents. ;)
QWERTY February 11, 2011 at 12:55 AM
If your reasoning for limiting kindergartner's time in school is based on teachers who are "cranky, uptight" and who "obviously hate their job[s]", then your reasoning should apply to ALL students of ALL ages! By your logic, all Monroe public schooling should be half day! Correct?
anon February 11, 2011 at 03:16 AM
i believe the school year 2010 to 2011 is the first and only recent year that Monroe El is going earlier than Stepney and Fawn Hollow ... my daughter is now in 2nd grade and this year is the first time that i've experienced
anon February 11, 2011 at 03:23 AM
hi Chris, i definitely do not agree with your comment about young children having NO concept of time ... while they may not be able to say "gee mom, i've been at school for 6 hours today instead of 3", i believe they know which school day is longer or shorter ... my 4 year old is well aware her lunch bunch days at preschool are longer than when she doesn't stay for the extended day and not all children have trouble adjusting ... very often after being with mom and/or dad all day for so long, they are so ready to branch out and let go and experience life in school ... my 4 year old is so attached to me yet she loves going to preschool and is sooooooo excited to start Kindergarten in the fall
barbara February 11, 2011 at 01:33 PM
Chris, you say you are the principal of Long Meadow Elementary School---thank you for sharing that with us. I see you recently acquired that job, good luck with it.
barbara February 11, 2011 at 02:05 PM
What in the world are you talking about, Chris? I was responding to your statement where you gave your name and occupation. Apparently you later had second thoughts and deleted it, I did not realize that when I replied. And I don't even know where you are coming up with "malicious" comments, I have not used that term. You need to calm down and think twice before posting.
jim laguardia February 12, 2011 at 06:11 PM
zoinks sounds like some people need to go to the priciples office and write a letter about their feelings
Christina March 04, 2011 at 02:59 AM
I taught first grade in the public school system for 8 years and have been enjoying my SAHM title for four years now. My son will be entering kindergarten in the fall and I'm trying to find a town with the half-day option for these reasons: I want to continue taking him to Stepping Stones, The Maritime Center, The Discovery Museum, local parks to explore in the woods, library... To name a few. It would be wonderful if he participates in a play-based kinder curriculum learning essential academic skills. After-school he would come home for lunch and rest a bit.. But be ready to learn more with his mother. The truth of the matter is, full day is great for kids who have been in full day child care programs, but not for a child who has been home. There is so much down time in full day.. It is great for parents who work not to have to pay for childcare! I think it works out great.. No judgements here. BUT Three half days of prek to five full days of kindergarten is so much for these little guys who have been home. think giving parents the option is the best choice.Fairfield and a few other districts do it that way. And if you are worried your child is going to fall behind other full day students, I can assure you that's not going to happen. As long as the child has an enriching home environment, she will be reading before ya know it. Please excus my iPhone typos.
Christina March 04, 2011 at 03:03 AM
Sorry for all my typos! I was typing on the iPhone while sitting in my infants room! Excuse me:) have a good night everyone and no fighting!!! We are all in this together:)
Patty January 03, 2013 at 02:07 AM
I am totally all for full day kinder garden . I am a single mom living on a fixed income and the cose of kinder academy is not at all in my budget. But yet I need to work full time. I'm hoping and praying that Monroe goes to full day kinder garden as my daughter will be entering in fall of 2013
Madhu March 21, 2013 at 05:30 PM
It will be great to have a full day kindergarden, cost of daycare programs are expensive!! I am all for it!

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