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Free Full Day Kindergarten Coming Soon?

A proposal would turn fee-based full-day kindergarten into a program funded by the town.

More kindergarten students may be going to school for a full day soon.

Town officials are considering making kindergarten a free full-day program, rather than the half day currently in place in North Andover. Currently kindergarten is only offered full-time for a $4,000 fee. Under the proposed plan, it would be completely covered in the town's budget.

"Because of the changes in state standards, there is a fuller platter on every kindergarten teacher now to provide and assess standards across the board,” Superintendent Kevin Hutchinson said while presenting the issue to the School Committee Wednesday.

At Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Manager Andrew Maylor said that the town is now financially able to transition the free kindergarten program from half-day to full-day.

Hutchinson said his department will gather input from parents and design a transition plan in the coming months. The tough part will be implementing a new universal free full-day kindergarten in a town that has never had one, he emphasized.

“We understand that this is a significant change for many people,” Hutchinson said. “For those people who have been sending their children to full-day kindergarten, the only significant change is, there’s no charge.”

Don't start packing the kids' backpacks for a full day yet. The proposal must go through the Finance Committee and the Board of Selectmen and then must be put on the warrant for Town Meeting.
Cool Fusion December 06, 2013 at 07:51 AM
Free Daycare. Anything else we can do for you princess?
DanielleWolf December 06, 2013 at 12:39 PM
That's a ridiculous comment. Clearly you don't have any school age children. It's not daycare - it's learning.
Jeff Keeton December 07, 2013 at 07:55 AM
We moved here from Alabama a year & half ago. I was stunned to learn there isn't free, full-day kindergarten here. Even in Alabama, 49th in the country in per pupil funding, every child receives free, full-day kindergarten at state (not town) expense, and they do work in K5 what the kids here are doing in 1st grade. So, do we really want to fall behind Alabama in education?
Bill Kelly December 09, 2013 at 01:07 PM
People need to think about the term "Free" from what I read the town is going to have to spend 600k to get the state funding in the following year(s) . I hope we have a thorough conversation about the benefits of all day kindergarten and how we will be dependent in the future on state funding to sustain it.
Carl Reppucci December 09, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Tax rate increase??? $14.47

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