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District News

February 6, 2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gresham-Barlow School Board votes to move forward with planning for 
full-day kindergarten

Research shows kindergarten students who participate in full-day programs read at higher levels
 
The Gresham-Barlow School Board voted Thursday night to move forward with the planning and preparation required to offer full-day kindergarten in the 2015-16 school year. Beginning next school year the state of Oregon will include full-day kindergarten in the state school funding formula. Currently school districts only receive funding for half-day kindergarten.

Students in full-day kindergarten programs receive between 40-50% more instruction than students in half-day programs. This dramatic increase in instructional time produces several academic and social/emotional benefits.
 
Academic and Social/Emotional Benefits of Full-Day Kindergarten
  • Increased opportunities for individualized instruction
  • Increased time to focus on activities, to reflect on activities, and transition between activities
  • Increased time to practice and master self-control in the school setting and build interpersonal skills
 
In her presentation to the school board at its February 5 meeting, Deputy Superintendent Teresa Ketelsen shared that students who participate in full-day kindergarten perform at higher reading levels in grades 1-3. Full-day kindergarten students also receive interventions earlier because teachers have more time to determine which skills students have mastered and the areas they need additional support.
 
“If a gap is present when students enter kindergarten, it will widen if we aren’t meeting the specific needs of students,” said Ketelsen.
 
Kindergarten through third grade is a critical time. Studies show students who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers.
 
The school district has reviewed its classroom space and believes there will be enough room to meet the needs of full-day kindergarten. To prepare for the move to a full-day program, the school district needs to hire additional teachers, and purchase curriculum, supplies, and furniture. The district will also establish professional development for staff to ensure consistent, high expectations and that the full-day kindergarten program is similar district-wide.
 
Parents can register their students for full-day kindergarten at their neighborhood school beginning March 1. It is highly recommended that those interested in learning more about the full-day kindergarten program attend the “Connect to Kindergarten” event at their school. For planning purposes, it is important that all kindergarten students are registered for school by June 1.
 
Connect to Kindergarten
 
Tuesday, April 21-6 to 7:30 pm
East Gresham Elementary School
Hall Elementary School
Highland Elementary School
Kelly Creek Elementary School
 
Wednesday, April 22-3:30 to 5 pm
East Gresham Elementary School
East Orient Elementary School
Hall Elementary School
Highland Elementary School
Hogan Cedars Elementary School
Hollydale Elementary School
North Gresham Elementary School
Powell Valley Elementary School
West Gresham Elementary School
 
Wednesday, April 22-3:45 to 5:15 pm
Deep-Creek-Damascus K-8 School
 
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