Steamboat Springs 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.