As the debate about full-day kindergarten is heating up here in North Kingstown, we would like to remind everyone that it is important to get involved – this is your town, these are your tax-dollars, and this is our children’s future. Please continue to stay respectful and determined, and hopefully our collective voices will be heard.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED:
- Send an email to all Town Council members expressing support for full-day Kindergarten.
- Click here to see examples of letters you can edit and send: Full Day Kindergarten_Letter
- Attend any of the upcoming meetings (see below). The April 13th meeting is the most important.
- Join the Full Day for NK Facebook community group.
- Spread the word!!!
MONDAY, MARCH 23 AT 10:00am – Special Town Council Meeting
Town Hall Conference Room | 80 Boston Neck Road | North Kingstown, RI | 02852
Click here to review Agenda
- There will be no opportunity for public comment at this meeting; we want to show our presence and hear their position so we remain well-informed
TUESDAY, MARCH 24 at 7:30pm – North Kingstown School Committee Business Meeting
North Kingstown High School | 150 Fairway Drive | North Kingstown, RI | 02852
Click here to review Agenda
- The School Committee will be discussing the school budgets; we are not sure if full-day K will be discussed. Many parents might be interested in the discussion on special education.
FACT SHEET ON FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN IN NORTH KINGSTOWN
FACT: Full-day kindergarten would give kids MORE time to “just be kids.”
Our K teachers are trying to teach a full-day Common Core Curriculum in half the time (2.5 hours), which is stressful for both students and teachers. Full-day K will give our youngest students more time to learn, as well as more time for unstructured free play, which is vital for their social and emotional development!
50% of half-day K students in North Kingstown need Response to Intervention (RTI) to reach grade level. Most are typically developing children who did not get enough reading and math instruction in half-day K. RTI requires data-driven interventions and entails data collection, extra testing and planning. Teachers regularly meet with specialists and principals, generally weekly, regarding students receiving RTI. Since half of all half-day K students require RTI, a K teacher with 20 students meets once a week about 10 students. As a result, our K teachers are away from all of their students for substantial amounts of time; particularly with a 2 ½ hour day. The end result is fewer resources for all students.
FACT: The cost of intervention is GREATER than the cost of implementing full-day kindergarten.
50% of students who attend half-day K in North Kingstown require specific Response to Intervention (RTI), compared to only 7% of students who attend the full-day K program at Quidnessett. Such intervention continues to be necessary for many of those students throughout their education. This costs taxpayers extra money for specialists, additional teacher training, and substitute teachers while classroom teachers attend planning meetings. Since those services are mandated, other non-mandated programs, like foreign language, music, and art, will be at risk as a result of the costs associated with the soaring RTI rate. While it is crucial to have intensive or specialized services for students who need it, much of the RTI costs can be avoided by implementation of full-day K. Up front investment is less costly than later interventions.
FACT: North Kingstown paid charter schools $971,800 in tuition last year for NK children.
NK pays tuition to charter schools for every NK student that chooses to attend. The vast majority of those children start in K because charter schools offer full-day K, and stay because they develop connections there. With full-day K in NK, many of those students (and their educational funds) would remain in NK schools.
• $10,800: amount NK paid to charter schools this year PER CHILD
• $248,400: amount NK paid to Kingston Hill Academy and Compass School THIS YEAR to support 23 of our students who opted for their full-day K . NK Students comprised 44% of the K class at KHA and 25% of the K class at Compass.
• $1,221,393: the amount NK is projected to pay charter schools in tuition in Fiscal Year 2015.
FACT: The proposal before the Town Council will raise your taxes, but under-fund education.
• 3.2%: increase School Committee requested – 1% of that was the cost of funding full-day K
• 1.9%: increase the proposal provides for education, which does not even cover the cost of inflation
• 8.9%: increase the proposal would give the Town Council to spend on anything other than education
The Town Council correctly points out that the town needs structural repairs due to the rough winter, but this is a short-sighted band-aid which will hurt NK in the long run. At least one Council member says that funding full-day K is the School Department’s problem, which is impossible given the negligible proposed increase in funding provided. The School Department is willing to have discussions to resolve this issue; the entire Council needs to be willing to participate.
FACT: The value of your property is dependent on the quality of the school system.
Young families buy houses based on school system quality. Despite a deficit, East Greenwich is funding two more full-day K classes. Young families will pick the town that offers the better school system, which includes full-day K.
FACT: We have an opportunity THIS YEAR to get state assistance to fund full-day kindergarten.
Full-day K will likely soon become mandatory in RI, and there may be NO state funds to implement it. The state funds originally marked for funding full-day K next year are available this year. That amount is $95,000 for North Kingstown. It is fiscally responsible to accept funding when it is available.
- NKSD Full Day K Feasibility Study
- Brown Daily Herald: Full-day kindergarten funding could increase
- Independent: Proposed NK budget includes 90-cent tax rate increase
- Independent: Full-day kindergarten expansion a budget ‘challenge’
- Independent: Approved [EG] budget includes full-day K at Frenchtown Elementary