SCSD2 contemplates going to full-day kindergarten

By Darci Petersen
The Sheridan Press


SHERIDAN — School board members, administrators, parents, teachers and bus drivers exchanged opinions Monday evening at the Sheridan County School District 2 Board of Trustees meeting as to whether the district should establish full-day kindergarten.

Although this topic was originally listed on the agenda as an action item, the board motioned last-minute to hear all angles of the conversation and vote at a later, unspecified date.

The decision may not yield a clear “yes or no” answer, as five options exist as possible outcomes. These include maintaining three-quarter kindergarten days district-wide, adopting full kindergarten days district-wide, continuing with Woodland Park as the only elementary school to offer full-day kindergarten, enforcing full-day kindergarten at Title 1 schools only (Woodland Park, Sagebrush and Henry A. Coffeen) or continuing with another trial year at Woodland Park.

Expansion of the full day would cost between $75,000 and $150,000 due to new staffing, depending on which option is chosen.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment Mitch Craft was forthright that bus drivers would feel an impact if SCSD2 adopted full-day kindergarten.

“Drivers currently running the 1:45 p.m. bus route would lose one-and-a-half work hours per day. That is roughly $150 a week or $5,300 a year.”

If the board elects to expand full-day kindergarten district-wide, then 12 of 36 drivers will be impacted by the work hour reduction. Administrators believe some drivers would be lost as a result, and it was noted drivers are already hard to retain.

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