The Difference a Good Plan Makes

The East Penn School Board will vote soon on whether to offer full day kindergarten to all families in the district.  I’m strongly in favor of doing so.  I’ve already written about some of the benefits of full day kindergarten, our community’s need for it, and paying for the program.  The methodical, inclusive, and transparent planning process the district used to develop its full day kindergarten proposal gives me added confidence that it will be successful and is worthy of support.

Developing the plan for all day kindergarten began in early 2016.  It involved a committee consisting of school administrators, teachers, parents, and community members.  They investigated best practices as well as reviewed the voluminous research devoted to evaluating full day kindergarten programs.  They compiled data on our own district, conducted a survey of more than 2,000 community stakeholders, and developed a specific vision for a play-centered full day program.  And they completed a full inventory of the space available in each school, examined current teacher allocation, and considered a whole host of potential effects of the change, including how it might impact the number of students attending private kindergartens, the number of seats on buses, “worst case scenarios,” and so forth.

The committee kept the school board informed of their progress through a series of presentations over the last year.  The slides from those presentations contain a wealth of information about the proposal and how it evolved, and are available below:

Assistant Superintendent Kristen Campbell led this effort.  It has been the most thorough and compelling of any the district has done in my four years on the board.   My own research and discussions with community members have led me to approve of full day kindergarten in principle.  But my confidence in East Penn’s specific proposal has come in large part because of the thoroughness and professionalism with which Ms. Campbell and her team have developed their.  I’ve come to the conclusion that full day kindergarten is right for our district.  What do you think?

This is one of several posts on the full day kindergarten proposal.  You can learn more at:

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