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Kindergarten full-day pilot program starts in fall

June 20, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

Parents of approximately 45 children will receive letters next week inviting their children to participate in Washington County's pilot full-day kindergarten program this fall, officials said Tuesday.

Up to 60 at-risk students from Bester, Winter Street and Salem Avenue elementary school districts will participate in the program, on which Board of Education members received an update during Tuesday morning's work session.

The School Board is using a three-year Goals 2000 state grant to fund the program in a move to better prepare children for school. The grant provides $200,000 in its first year, enough to pay the salaries of four kindergarten teachers and buy supplies.

Pre-kindergarten teachers and principals will select up to 15 children from each of the three schools to participate in the program, which will be held at Marshall Street School, said Paula Athey, supervisor of early childhood programs.

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Since not all children attend pre-kindergarten, up to five slots from each school will be reserved for kindergartners to be chosen by kindergarten teachers after the school year starts, Athey said.

The four teachers for the pilot program are Rebecca Griffin from Winter Street, Deborah Grass from Old Forge Elementary, Geri Moats from Fountain Rock Elementary and Pangborn Boulevard Elementary's Valerie Kaufman, who will be the head teacher.

Kindergarten teachers will help program organizers revise the county's kindergarten curriculum for the full-day program during workshops this summer, Athey said.

An expanded report card will allow teachers to note whether students are making progress in a variety of areas, including motor development, artistic expression, number concepts, conflict resolution and writing.

Temporary barriers will be put up in Marshall Street School to create three classrooms of 20 students each, said Director of Facilities Management Dennis McGee. The School Board may decide later to budget money for permanent walls.

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