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Proposal For Extending The Kindergarten Day

Currently the Floral Park-Bellerose UFSD offers a staggered, half-day program for kindergarten instruction. Each session contains approximately two hours and 45 minutes of student instructional time.

There have been perennial concerns in the community and with the teaching staff that the amount of time afforded to students is inadequate to fully meet instructional goals and provide a strong foundation for succeeding years. The implementation of Common Core Standards and new reading and mathematics programs has exacerbated this concern.

Several years ago, the Floral Park district did a feasibility study of creating a full-day kindergarten program. At that time fiscal and facility issues were identified that precluded a full-day program. Fiscally, other programs would have to be eliminated to fund an all-day kindergarten and the enrollment at that time required additional rooms that were not available.

Although the fiscal constraints have become even more onerous (tax levy cap)—with declining enrollment a review of facilities shows that the district would be able to add the necessary rooms at a negligible expense.

Since, within current tax levy caps, the district cannot absorb the additional cost of the increased staffing necessary for an all-day Kindergarten program (roughly $400,000) the district proposes to expand the kindergarten day by an additional 1.5 hours and when the fiscal climate is more favorable revisit an all-day program.

What would an extended day kindergarten require?

An extended-day program is no longer staggered. All kindergarten students would arrive to their school at the same time in the morning. Four hours and 15 minutes later they would all be dismissed from their school at the same time.

Curriculum and Materials

The district would need to review current curriculum and materials. It is likely that the district will have little problem expanding existing resources to ensure meaningful instruction.

Schedule

Working with the staff, the district will create a new schedule for the class. If necessary, the district plans to link up with other districts that are using a similar model.

Transportation

The district will actually be reducing transportation needs as the midday arrival and dismissal are eliminated. Capacity of morning runs will have to be reviewed and the timing for the new afternoon dismissal run will have to be coordinated with the other district bus responsibilities.

Enrollment/Class size

Projected enrollment right now for next year is approximately 135 students in both buildings. Depending on distribution of students, the district anticipates three classes at JLC and four classes at FPBS, for a total of seven classes.

Staffing

It is anticipated that this change will create seven part-time positions at a .7 full time equivalent. These positions will be posted and filled according to current contract, law and regulation. Additional staffing changes may result depending on who applies for the extended-day program.

(Editor’s note: This is a proposal for the extension of the kindergarten day in the Floral Park School District. A decision will be made by the school board at a later date.)

News

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, residents and community members joined with the Floral Park American Legion to honor veterans at the annual Veteran’s Day ceremonies at Memorial Park, following a march down Tulip Avenue to the park with the members of the veterans of the Legion post, American Legion Auxiliary members, Sons of the American Legion, Boy and Cub Scouts from Troops 482 and 678 and local officials.

During the ceremony, a plaque was dedicated in memory of General Kazimierz Pulaski and others of Polish heritage who have served in the U.S. military. The plaque dedication was led by members of the Polish American Congress, Long Island Division, President Grzegorz Worma and Honorary President Richard Brzozowski. An invocation was delivered by Father Peter Rozek of St. Hedwig Church, followed by a POW-MIA ceremony by Post 334 Vice Commander Matthew Cacciatore.

While parking around Long Island Rail Road train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town.

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Calendar

Floral Park Memorial PTSA Fall Fest Fundraiser

Friday, November 21

Buy A Meal, Wag A Tail

Saturday, November 22

Hanging of the Greens and Potluck Luncheon

Sunday, November 23



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