Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fairfax County considering going back to half-day kindergarten

There is some controversy going on here in the Fairfax County. Due to budget a shortfall, they are considering going back to half-day kindergarten again as a way to save $13 million dollars. I am not so good with numbers, but for a school system with an annual budget of $2.2 billion (yes, that's billion with a B), $13 million doesn't seem like a lot. A lot of folks, myself included particularly with a kid expected to enter full day kindergarten in nine months, are encouraging the county to consider other options.

There is an interesting debate. My friends who stay home and whose kids go to preschool a couple of mornings a week, complain that full day kindergarten is too long and it's too hard on the kids. My friends who work think half-day kindergarten is a joke because by the time they get to school, get settled, do an activity and have a snack, it's time to go home -- in many ways a far less academic setting then our kids have been receiving at full-day daycare/preschool. Also, it's a pain in the neck for working parents because you don't find out until August before school starts in the first of September if you will have morning or afternoon kindergarten and you have to make arrangements.

If you support keeping full-day kindergarten, please sign the petition -

1 comment:

  1. George did half day for the year(fours in preschool) prior to entering full day. Full day (8 to 3) ROCKS. There are only about 6 kids of 20 who get picked up at 3, 2 whom ride the bus home and then about 12 who go to after care at various places as their parents work. It is GREAT, full time. They go outside to play two different times during the day, and have plenty of down time. With full day, they get letters, words, some wacky science stuff, art, music, PE (those last three rotate every third day), math concepts, and what I like most is speaking in front of the group w/ show and tell, good news telling, and a few other things that promote the kids not being afraid to talk in front of groups.

    It is NOT too much for the kids and they are learning how to go to school. With first grade, I hear they get SLAMMED w/ homework, etc. This eases into it by providing the all day w/o all the stress. They are SO much more mature than preschool, it is weird. You will be AMAZED at Andy next year compared to this one. Weird, I tell you. Half day can't begin to touch the independence that your guy will feel.

    I hope this half day doesn't happen for you guys. Are there alternatives that they could cut? Maybe make the school year shorter for kinder but still make it full day? Not sure.

    I wish you well!!!!