Full-Day Kindergarten

Full-Day Kindergarten

South Park School District Families:

At its meeting on Thursday, February 14, 2019, the South Park School District Board of Directors approved the implementation of full-day kindergarten for all kindergarten students beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. This decision came after much study, planning, and discussion. South Park School District administrators have considered the establishment of full-day kindergarten for many years. We thank the Board of Directors for their deliberation and approval of this plan which we believe will have a tremendous impact on South Park students. We also want to thank those of you who participated in our full-day kindergarten survey. We received nearly 800 responses. Seventy-six percent of respondents favored full-day kindergarten. Seventy-six percent of parents who said their children will be in kindergarten in the next four years also favored full-day kindergarten.

The current half-day kindergarten program provides two-and-a-half hours of classroom time to our students. A full-day program will better meet Pennsylvania’s evolving learning standards for early childhood while also helping to more adequately meet the social and emotional needs of our youngest students. Last school year, nearly 80% of Pennsylvania kindergarten students were enrolled in a full-day program, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. A full-day schedule will provide at least one full hour for math instruction and at least one full hour for ELA instruction. Instruction in writing and science will also take place daily. Students will benefit from full sessions of classes including music, art, physical education, library, and technology. There also will be time reserved every day for story time, structured play, lunch, and recess.

Prior to last evening’s approval, district administrators identified the locations of the additional classrooms that will be needed for a full-day program. There is enough space at South Park Elementary Center to house the additional kindergarten classrooms. The additional equipment and supplies needed to outfit those new classrooms will be purchased this summer. The transition to a full-day kindergarten program will require additional faculty members at South Park Elementary Center. The district will begin that process in the coming months. A significant portion of the additional costs for equipment, supplies, and faculty will be offset by the elimination of midday kindergarten bus routes.

This decision does not affect the opportunity for South Park parents to take advantage of the before- and after-school programs offered by Extended Day Services at South Park Elementary Center. For more information about these programs, please contact EDS directly by calling 412- 221-1980 or by visiting their website, extendedday.com.

Kindergarten registration for the 2019-2020 school year will begin on Tuesday, February 19. The first step for families with students entering kindergarten next year will be to complete the online pre-registration form. A link to the pre-registration form will be posted on sparksd.org and spec.sparksd.org on Tuesday. After completing the pre-registration form, families can either print a registration packet from our website or pick up a packet from the elementary center office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. prior to Monday, April 1. Additional information about kindergarten screenings and orientation will be provided to families at a later date.  

If you have questions about the full-day kindergarten program or kindergarten registration, please contact the elementary center at (412) 655-3111, option 3. We are looking forward to welcoming a new class of kindergarten students this fall!

Sincerely,

Wayne P. Gdovic

Superintendent of Schools

South Park School District

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