Wilton Schools Consider Moving To Full-Day Kindergarten

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Wilton schools may introduce full-day kindergarten all week next school year. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason

WILTON, Conn. – Full-day kindergarten may be offered at Wilton Public Schools as early as next year.

Wilton schools officials are reviewing a plan for five full days of kindergarten classes at Miller-Driscoll instead of the current setup with two full days and three half days.

Daily full-day classes would give kindergartners more time to be with their classmates for social interaction as well as more time to learn, said Miller-Driscoll Principal Cheryl Jensen-Gerner, who discussed the plan with the Board of Education last week. “It’s more opportunity for direct instruction every day."

Superintendent Gary Richards supports the change. Most school districts in the state and nearby have all-day kindergarten, he said. “What’s happening, too, is that the curriculum standards are changing and the work that used to be in the first grade is now in kindergarten,” Richards said. “They need more time to do that. I think that it’s a good thing.”

Wilton has 14 kindergarten sections, and moving to full-day kindergarten for all students would not change the number of sections or teachers, Richards said. “This is not a radical move on our part. It reflects the best practices and it’s important for our kids to have this experience,” he said.

Wilton school officials are studying full-time kindergarten by visiting with other districts that already have it in place and doing other research, Jensen-Gerner said. The Board of Education will have to decide soon whether it wants to make the change next year.

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Connecticutcitizen:

Will there be more reading instruction? The model now allows for classes of 1/2 the number of children in the afternoon for the long days which should permit more specialized attention. What are the increase in costs? Are 'Centers' still used wherein parents are the extra 'teachers' in the classroom in the morning? Is this the best model for teaching - untrained parents one on one with small groups of students? What other districts have it? What is the input of the teachers - its being shared elsewhere that the principal provided little if any opportunity for it - is that the case?