Otsego plans for all-day kindergarten PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 10:13
Otsego_rotator
TONTOGANY - All-day, everyday kindergarten will be a reality in the Otsego school district starting next school year.
"These conversations have been happening well before I got here in regard to all-day, everyday kindergarten," said Superintendent Adam Koch in an interview Wednesday. "With the community meetings that we've had and conversations that we've had elsewhere, it keeps being brought up and the community says 'we will support an all-day, everyday kindergarten initiative.' We feel our students would benefit from it and so we're moving forward."
A frequent sticking point for districts in implementing such a program is how it will be paid for. Koch announced earlier this week in an email sent to the Otsego community that they have found an option to operate ADK, which normally costs about $150,000 per year.
"Currently our kindergarten class is around 85 students, so we're going to decrease one section of first grade next year and move one of the teachers down to kindergarten," said Superintendent Adam Koch.
Additionally, with a few expected retirements in the district, those savings will also be used, making up the cost of the program so that Otsego will not have to expend additional funds.
A press release issued by the district noted that "preparing all students is a priority - this is one component of that. Nationally, a renewed effort to provide early reading skills for all students has been the trend. Various studies point to higher success rates for students in full-time kindergarten programs versus their peers in part-time programming."
Otsego Curriculum Director Lori Rea, in the release, said the program will help with gaps in reading and math skills.
"Full time programs will provide foundational skills necessary for the rigor contained in the new standards," including higher achievements in reading and math.
In the release, Otsego Elementary Principal Betsey Murry noted that parents have requested ADK frequently, and that it fits well with new state standards, including the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
"The new building was designed to accommodate the full day every day schedule," she said. "This building will accommodate all of our students without overcrowding."
Kindergarten registration is scheduled for Feb. 24 through March 7. Parents can register their children between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Evening registration will take place on March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. Downloadable forms are available on Otsego's website, otsegoknights.org, by going under Schools, then Kindergarten.
Parents should bring a certified birth certificate, Social Security card, immunization records, a recent physical, proof of residency and custody papers, if applicable, when registering their child.
Students who turn 5 on or before Aug. 1 are eligible to enroll in kindergarten. All assessments for kindergartners will be completed during the first week of school.
For additional information, contact the school at 419-823-4381, option 4.
 

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