By Jackie Nelson
Hesston Elementary School is making a change to the Kindergarten schedule beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.
According to Hesston Elementary School Principal Chris Robertson, children will be attending all-day kindergarten beginning 6 weeks after the school year begins.
“We used to have half-day kindergarten for the first 12 weeks of school. Now we will be having all-day kindergarten beginning six weeks in,” she said.
USD 460 Superintendent Paul Becker said the changes, which were approved by the School Board during the Monday, March 11 meeting, represent an adjustment to better accommodate new curriculum.
“The motivation behind it, we felt like we needed to get students going all day sooner. With new standards coming, we want them to be moving along,” he said.
Robertson said the decision to have students in school for all-day sessions was not made lightly.
“It was a difficult decision and one made with input from the community as well as with input from the kindergarten team. We also gathered information from 17 area schools and schools in our league to see what they were doing,” said Robertson.
One of the changes that will impact the classroom is more even distribution of students.
”The group in the afternoon was much smaller than how this will be implemented. The school will determine which session students attend,” said Becker.
Robertson said educators will divide students into classes and then into morning and afternoon sessions.
“Each child is screened. A team of staff look at the scores and take into consideration the personality of the child as far as we know. We also look at gender and try to have as even a mix as possible.
“Then, the students are split by the three classrooms and special needs. After those three classrooms are established, then we will divide them into morning and afternoon,” said Robertson.
Parents will have ample time to arrange for appropriate child-care based on morning or afternoon attendance.
“We will notify parents after the screening if their child will be in the morning or afternoon session. That should be by the end of May or the first of June,” said Robertson.
One of the factors that will not change, parents will still have the option to continue with only partial-day kindergarten.
“If children are attending half-day, it will more than likely be the morning session,” said Becker.
Robertson said children will obviously receive more instruction time with the new schedule.
“I think any time a child can be in a classroom with a teacher, then that is going to benefit them. We are looking at the direction education is going, and we want to make sure our program remains as strong as it has been in the past,” she said.
Format is what it has been the first 12 weeks of school. Everyone went I nthe morning and a small group that stayed all day.
With the new format there’s going t obe students will be divided into three teachers however for fisrst 6 weeks classes split fairly eavenly numbered
Ie 20 kids with teacher A and 10 for morning and other 10 for afternoon and go to end of September which is about the fist six weeks of school
Motivation behind it felt like we needed to get kids going all day sooner. With new starndards coming and moving them along.
We felt like that would be a good move.
This way have smaller grops for the first six
The fist six weeks one of the thigns it will help them see where strengths an needs are and so it does get them to establish relationships with smaller groups and once they coe abck togehtr that provides teachers the foundation to build on their skills
The group in the afternoon was much smaller than how this wil be worked
For the most part the school will determine that only talking about 6 week period of time. There was a time when we
When talking a ful year it’s a little different. Fif there are special circumstances they can let the building principal know.
There are those that want to continue half day and that wil conitnue to be an option nothing has changed with htat. chances are that woud be the morning, based on schedules.
The biggest change is we use dto hva for 12 weeks and now only 6 weeks
The morning, it’s the same way we do it now. We look at the screener that each child taes and we look at those scores and a team of staff that look at scores and we look at the scores, we take into consideation personality of the child as far as we know.
We look at gender, try to even that out as must as possibl
Then those are split by the three classroom and special nedds. After those threee classrooms established then spelit into am and pm
It was a difficult decision and made from input fom the communtiuy as wel as imput for the kindergarten team. We alos gathered info from 17 area schools in our leage to see what they were doing. Gathered that info and we are noting with the college and career readiness standards coming donw form the state that expectations at each grade level is more rigerious so we are planning for that.