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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

Maybe not a scene from the rap song video, Thrift Shop, but the popular spot in Floral Park to score some of the best deals on lightly used goods and clothing, the United Methodist Church’s Thrift Shop, was just as exciting to watch when it re-opened to customers for the season. The thrift shop re-opened on Wednesday, Sept. 3 after being closed for the summer for restocking, cleaning and organizing the shelves and racks.

Thrift Shop Manager Dolores Rossi said more than nine volunteers helped throughout the summer to get the shop back into top shape for its re-opening, including her 17-year-old grandsons, Andrew Rossi of Floral Park and Jake Kennedy of New Hyde Park.

In 1963, Sewanhaka High School alumni and Floral Park resident, Adele Werthmuller pulled out her yearbook. She was on a mission and began paging through the pictures and names of her beloved classmates. She decided to look through the phone book for familiar names. She said, “I kept in contact with many of my girlfriends so I started looking for the men first.”


Calendar

Floral Park Memorial High School Class of 1964

Friday, September 12

Bellerose Village Day

Saturday, September 13

34th Annual Antique Motorcycle Show

Sunday, September 14



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com