The Big Walnut School District’s all-day kindergarten fee will be reduced $50, to $225 per month, academic achievement director Jen Young said at a recent school board meeting.
“As a district, we understand the importance of early childhood education,” Young said on Jan. 21. “Because of that, we are constantly looking for ways to make early childhood options more accessible to families. We were thrilled to be able to begin offering a full-day kindergarten option last year. Our ultimate goal is to be able to provide a free full-day kindergarten option for all families.”
Young said that while the school district is not yet in a position to offer free all-day kindergarten, it is moving in that direction.
“We believe we can make incremental reductions over the next few years in order to get to our ultimate goal of free full-day kindergarten for all,” Young said.
Young said parents have the option of enrolling their children into half-day kindergarten or full-day tuition-based kindergarten.
In half-day kindergarten, students will attend school from either 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., or from 12:50 to 3:35 p.m.
“Times may vary slightly as transportation schedules are not yet finalized,” Young said. “Students will attend one special class — art, music, PE or STEM — every four days to optimize the limited classroom instructional time; and students will receive high-quality lessons to meet academic standards.”
Young said academic interventions would be a priority during half-day kindergarten to remediate and keep students on track.
Full-day kindergarten students will attend school from 8:45 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. each day and have a scheduled lunch and recess break at mid-day.
“Full-day kindergarten students will attend one special class — art, music, PE or STEM — each day, in addition to the core curriculum,” Young said. “Students will receive high-quality lessons to meet academic standards, and will have more opportunities to have focused and in-depth lessons, allowing for increased personalization, intervention and enrichment.”
Kindergarten registration for the 2016-17 school year is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, March 7, through Friday, March 11, with extended hours on Tuesday, March 8, until 6 p.m.
Children who turn 5 years old on or before Aug. 1 are able to enroll in kindergarten.
Parents need to bring completed registration forms and copies of the required documentation to the elementary school that the child is scheduled to attend. Registration forms are available on the Big Walnut School District website (bwls.net) and at each school building.
Required documents are an official birth certificate, a Social Security number, proof of residency, applicable custody papers and an immunization report.
Young said that for families that qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, fees will be offered free or at a reduced rate ($112.50) for all-day kindergarten tuition. Parents can find out if they qualify for free or reduced-price lunches and fees by filling out a form at registration.
Young also said the first month’s tuition will be due as a deposit by April 10.