WILTON, Conn. – A Wilton parent who hopes to stop the Wilton Public Schools from starting an all-day kindergarten program has created a petition to protest the move.
Katherine Cunningham established the online petition recently as the Wilton Board of Education considers starting full-day kindergarten all week instead of the extended day program that has kindergartners having a whole school day just twice a week.
“Kindergartners have thrived from special attention from the teachers on their long days, when only half the class is present,” said a statement on the petition’s homepage. “The half-day program allows teachers to focus on individuals in a smaller group setting. Kindergartners also enjoy the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, play dates and family time on their short days. For a young child who may not ‘excel’ at school, the short days allow them time to explore other interests to boost their confidence.”
The petition said a full-day program “will eliminate/reduce the small group instruction students receive during Extended Day, curtail play dates and extracurricular activities during this important transitional year.”
Several parents have urged Board of Education members at recent meetings to maintain the current extended-day program.
Full-day kindergarten is in the best interest of Wilton children, Superintendent Gary Richards said recently. Also, the three short days create “a rushed event” in teaching kindergartners, he said. Also, other nearby districts already have full-day programs, he said.
As of Friday, 124 people had signed the petition. Organizers hope to gather 500 signatures. The Wilton school board is expected to decide on the kindergarten program next month.