It has been the subject of debate for years. Now, the Fayetteville-Manlius School District is considering full-day kindergarten for its students.
District leaders say it is an effort to 'increase proficiency and best prepare students for success in the classroom and beyond.'
Prompted by a recent analysis of the district's enrollment numbers, and the increased rigor of New York's Common Core Curriculum requirements, district administrators plan to begin compiling research to determine the feasibility and advisability of implementing a full-day kindergarten program.
District officials say the comprehensive study will analyze a number of factors, including the needs of students in relation to the Common Core, potential impact on transportation, space adequacy, personnel requirements, and what impact the extended program could have on the district's budget.
According to the State Education Department, 95% of kindergarten students in New York State currently attend a full-day program. "A longer instructional day could provide an enhanced early literacy program, and would additionally provide more time for mathematics, science and social studies instruction, which is necessary due to the Common Core Curriculum standard," the district said in a news release to CNYCentral.
As part of the study, other districts with full-day kindergarten will be interviewed by F-M district administrators in an effort to gain insight on the benefits and constraints of a full-day program.
In a separate study, the district will continue to examine further implementation of the Language Other Than English (LOTE) program, to increase the number of students proficient in a foreign language.
Last year, the FM School Board approved funds to hire two more foreign language teachers for the 2013-14 school year. The district currently offers four foreign languages to 7th grade students including French, German, Latin and Spanish. Board members have asked the district to continue to explore teaching foreign language at early ages.