Lea Treanor: For all-day kindergarten

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I wanted to respond to the article in the Steamboat Today regarding the full-day kindergarten program that Superintendent Brad Meeks is recommending be paid for by the Fund Board and available to all kids no matter what their socioeconomic status. I applaud him for this because I think the current policy is complete discrimination toward students whose families don’t have the funds to pay private tuition costs to be enrolled for a full day.  

I understand that in the past, lower-income families at least could apply for a scholarship (which apparently has been discontinued), further adding to the problem — especially considering that the district has access to a very good grant writer who could seek funding if it were considered a higher priority.

This year, the half-day kindergarten students have to attend Strawberry Park Elementary School, and if zoned to attend Soda Creek Elementary School, they will have to change schools for first grade. That’s something that is not easy for many children.

Furthermore, in this day and age of strong expectations for education placed on students by state assessments, children of families with lower incomes will not have the same advantages as those whose families can afford to pay for full-day kindergarten and the resulting start to their education at a very important developmental stage. Every other outlying school in this region manages to keep full-day kindergarten a priority for all kids. I hope Steamboat can work toward the same goal.

Lea Treanor

Steamboat Springs

Comments

sashas 2 years, 9 months ago

While I'm a homeschool proponent and consider the extensive time children are in the classroom to be a waste, I agree with your thoughts that everyone should have the same opportunity regardless of the financial situation. With that said, I also feel all day kindergarten should not exist. It is more of a "free" babysitting service than anything. I was educated by the public school system and truly believe all the time I spent there was unnecessary. Everything I learned could've been taugh in half the time. School is like preparing for the future of slaving away at a full time job. We're taught to go through the motions: Take the hardest classes in school to prepare for college; go to college even though you really have no idea what you want to do; slave away to the system until you die. And on top of that, the high school kids are working, while going to school, studying, and participating in sports. We have too much going on these days, and all the time spent in public school is unnecessary. I have no problem against learning. What I'm saying is that my son is learning what I learned in half the time, and then he still has time to enjoy Mother Nature, like going on a hike, and also is able exercise his brain how he wishes (free and creative thinking) while public schooler's are still sitting in the classroom, while unable to delve into things that interest them that is not taught in public school's. It's too much! Conformity.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 9 months ago

"the current policy is complete discrimination toward students whose families don’t have the funds to pay private tuition costs"

"discrimination"? That is such a loaded word and it is not correct to use it when the issue is not race, religion or any other arbitrary difference between people.

The ability of some people to pay for more than others is not discrimination.

The valid question regarding full day kindergarten is it's educational value. Will it result in better prepared first graders or not? From what I can tell, school district would be better off identifying at-risk preschoolers and get them into language skills and structured environment so they can do better in kindergarten. Full day kindergarten appears to be of limited educational benefit because the kids tire.

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