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All-day kindergarten in Sturbridge?


School panel supports idea of full day program


December 05, 2010
STURBRIDGE — After receiving multiple requests by members of the community to institute a full-day kindergarten, the Sturbridge School Committee expressed its support of the proposal at their meeting Thursday, Dec. 2.

Sturbridge is one of the few remaining towns in the region that does not feature a full-day kindergarten program, but the school committee voted unanimously to support the introduction of such a program next fall.

"This is definitely something that the community wants, so we need to make it a priority for the 2011-2012 budget," said School Committee Chairman Katherine Alexander.

If the proposal is approved, three teachers would need to be hired to staff three full-day kindergarten classrooms, and although their salaries would be covered by leftover grant money, additional financial aspects of the new kindergarten program could present budgetary problems. The committee recognized that other school programs would need to be cut if full-day kindergarten was introduced, as this implementation would be permanent in order to ensure that Sturbridge children are offered the same opportunities as children in surrounding districts.

"This isn't something we will have for a year or two, and then decide if we want to keep it," said Superintendent Daniel Durgin, who noted that choosing which programs to cut would be a very difficult process.

The committee plans to research how many Massachusetts school districts still offer half-day kindergarten programs and view the results of studies comparing them to districts that offer full-day kindergarten programs.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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