Fewer expected for all-day K

Families of about 70 children have confirmed for this fall


— Steamboat Springs School District leaders have a rough idea of how many students will wind up in full-day kindergarten this fall.

Barring mistakes or omissions in the count, about 70 children will participate in the all-day program, Soda Creek Elementary School Principal Judy Harris told the School Board on Monday. The families of 110 children initially expressed interest, she said. The schools asked for a $200 deposit by the end of April.

"We did extend that by one day and called everyone who hadn't turned it in to remind them," Harris said. Staff members are going to double-check with parents who did not pay to make sure they don't want a full-day slot, she said.

Harris, Strawberry Park Elementary School Principal Brenda Barr, Strawberry Park instructional support specialist Celia Dunham and district Curriculum and Instruction Director JoAnne Hilton-Gabeler also discussed a general curriculum framework.

All kindergarten classes will include a literacy block for reading and writing, math, and some science and social studies. Content won't be set, however, until the district hires teachers and nails down enrollment numbers, officials said.

Strawberry Park and Soda Creek are likely to have two full-day classes each, Harris said. The district expects tuition to be $572 a month for 10 months.

The committee has struggled to make sure the children in half-day kindergarten don't get slighted.

"Unless we adopt a philosophy in our district that full-day is what we offer and it's free to all kids, I don't want to create gaps," Harris said. "We talked about ways to adjust that, and some really good application started to unfold."

For example, the group discussed sharing educational materials with parents and other child-care providers so they can help children learn outside kindergarten.

Overall enrollment is unchanged, Harris said.

"When we added up all numbers, with full-day and half-day kids, we have about the traditional number of kids we've had in past years," she said.

The panel will return June 23 to update the board.

Also Monday, parent Julie Taulman updated the board on funding for the new playgrounds planned for Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools. Fundraising is speeding along, Taulman said. The Let's All Play playground committee has received pledges for $675,740 of the total $970,000 cost, she said.

Her group recently received a $92,221 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for surfacing materials, Taulman said. The committee has applied for at least $275,000 more in funding.

The district has enough money to order equipment for the playground before the cost goes up in two weeks, Taulman said. The price will increase by 3 percent because of a rise in steel prices, she said. As of now, the equipment for both schools will cost $260,000.

The committee is $60,000 to $65,000 short of its community fundraising goal, she said. The group needs to raise $250,000 to match money from the Education Fund Board.

"The last 10 percent is always the hardest to raise in the community," Taulman said. "We want to let people know the playgrounds are a go."

The schools are still seeking donations of concrete and truck time associated with that, district Facilities Director Rick Denny said.

"We'll continue to take donations all the way through this project," he said.

For those who have been waiting to donate, "the time is now to give," Taulman said. Those interested in donating can do so through the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

Also at Monday's meeting, the board discussed spending for the superintendent search, which amounted to $5,612.79 for the Colorado Association of School Boards and $977.60 in legal fees. The cost came in less than the $7,000 the board had budgeted.


SilverSpoon 8 years, 11 months ago

A $1 million dollar playground?

When I was a kid, they burried an old excavator tire halfway in the ground, and that was fun obsticle on the playground.
Sometimes they would use a tractor tire.

I can't wait to play with my kids on the golden monkey bars.


ss80487 8 years, 11 months ago

If you read the article, the equipment will cost $260,000 not $1 million. If you actually read the paper and the ads in it for the playground, you would know that the district proposed having heated surfacing and that is costing $400,000. The playground committee has said over and over that the heated surfacing will be cut if they don't raise enough money for it. With a name like SilverSpoon, I hope that you have made a donation to the playground.


steamboatyahoo 8 years, 11 months ago

Steamboat Springs's cost of living is 70.14% Higher than the U.S. average. So one would think that school spending would be higher than the national average. Steamboat Springs public schools spend $5,882 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058.

Go figure.


SilverSpoon 8 years, 11 months ago

I would donate a gigantic tire, and donate the time to dig the hole and bury it. Cash donations only get squandered by the masses.


corduroy 8 years, 11 months ago

"fewer expected for all-day K" big surprise.. because its NOT public education if you CHARGE for it! In New York State all public schools (or at least all the ones me or accquaintances attended) only had full Day K, for FREE, and half day became an option later on as more parents didn't want to let go soon enough.

Sure every child is different. but I see a lot of "overparenting" in this area.. or maybe its a sign of the times.. parents sit there with the car running at the bus stop, even when the weather is nice. I had to walk a quarter mile to mine and did so all my myself, how is it so hard? If you keep trying to protect your kids from everything they will never learn that sometimes things aren't so easy.

Make full day K included, not extra cost, and you'll see a lot more people interested.. especially since Pre-K is completely unaffordable and unavailable here.. what a joke!


sickofitall 8 years, 11 months ago

Please remember 1/2 day is not free, we pay our taxes around here.


jomarch 8 years, 11 months ago

Can someone please explain to me why South Routt (one of the financially-challenged schools in the county) offers full-day kindergarten free-of-charge while Steamboat (the wealthiest school in the county) does not? South Routt has a dated heating system but is willing to put forth the money so that every child, regardless of socio-economic level, can attend full day kindergarten; whereas, Steamboat sports an astro-turf field but doesn't have the money to fund something that has proven student success in education? In Steamboat, it seems this full day vs. half day concept will sort out the haves and the have nots. What happens when the full day kids and the 1/2 day kids get to first grade? I don't get it. It doesn't add up. Please enlighten me.


sickofitall 8 years, 11 months ago

The school board does not WANT our kids to attend. I voted against the Soda Creek remodel, due to the fact that they possess a 35 acre parcel near Steamboat 2 capable of containing a brand new school without the headaches of parking or any other space constraints. Well, they remodel Soda Creek, now they are going to want to build a new school too. They are seriously mis-managing their resources. Recent projects and "buy-outs" prove this.


localfuzz 8 years, 11 months ago

Why didn't the article mention that the cost of full day kindergarten in our 'Public Schools' was more expensive than some of our local private schools' equivalent programs? I agree with jomarch...just another way to sort out the haves and have nots. Is this just another shove from our local community to get rid of the work force? We already can't afford to live here and now we can't afford to send our kids to school here.


oldskoolstmbt 8 years, 11 months ago

excellent blog jomarch!!! i wish u luck on trying to solve the equation :)


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