Full-day kindergarten not what every parent wants
PRESCOTT - When Roxanne Ronco went to enroll her daughter in kindergarten, she was surprised to learn that Prescott Unified School District does not have a half-day program.
"I started checking schools in the area, and everyone said they have an all-day kindergarten program," Ronco said.
The Prescott mother said she learned that school districts that offer full-day kindergarten must also offer half-day kindergarten instruction.
PUSD Superintendent Kevin Kapp said the school district accommodates parents who want their child to attend the half-day program.
"Ever since all-day kindergarten was fully funded by the state in 2007, 90 percent of parents want to enroll their students in the all-day program," Kapp said.
However, Kapp said, if a parent wants their child to attend only half-day, parents could enroll their child for morning-only classes. He said parents must pick their child up at noon.
The superintendent said most of the academic work happens at that time.
Kapp said that with so few students attending half-day kindergarten it is not "economically feasible to pay for a $40,000 teacher for 10 students. In fact, since most the kindergartners attend school all day, we have cancelled the kindergarten bus runs."
Kapp said the district would accommodate a parent if they want their child to attend kindergarten in the afternoon.
"We respect the fact that there are parents who only want half-day kindergarten and we will work with those parents. We have had parents who sent their kindergartners to school for half a day the first semester and then in January said their son or daughter was ready to attend school all day. We accommodate those parents and enroll the child in all-day kindergarten," Kapp said.
Ronco said that after speaking to district officials she was able to enroll her daughter in half-day kindergarten.
"I work part-time in the morning, and I like having her with me in the afternoon. I love having options." Ronco said, "I don't necessarily believe that pushing academics so young is beneficial."
She said that while she has resolved her problem, she wants to let other parents know they have this option.
"The point is, I shouldn't have ... do all the detective work to find out this is an option," Ronco said.
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