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School Board makes kindergarten changes

September 20, 2000

School Board makes kindergarten changes



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


Kindergarten students at Funkstown Elementary School will begin attending all-day sessions starting Oct. 2, according to John Festerman, director of elementary education for the Washington County Board of Education.

Thirteen children from the morning session and eight from the afternoon session will be combined into one full-day class, Festerman said.

Small kindergarten enrollments at the school allowed the School Board to combine the two classes, he said. The class will be locally funded, unlike the three pilot all-day kindergarten classes at Marshall Street School, which are funded through state grants.

The School Board would like to have full-day kindergarten classes in place at all elementary schools in the next school year.

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Two part-time kindergarten teachers will be hired at Cascade and Maugansville elementary schools and another session each will be added to those schools on Oct. 2.

Festerman said those positions and classes are needed to alleviate high kindergarten enrollments at both schools. Cascade has 27 students in one kindergarten class, while Maugansville has about 50 in two sessions.

"This is a good thing for our kindergarten students," Festerman said.

With the new teachers, Cascade will have two sessions and Maugansville will have three.

Greenbrier, which has an enrollment of about 50 kindergarten students in two sessions, will also get a third class.

The board is in the process of notifying all parents affected by the changes. Parents will have about two weeks to prepare before the changes go into effect.

Funding for the new teachers will be paid for through state and federal class size reduction grant money, Festerman said.

"We stretched the funds as far as we can stretch them," he said.

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