Parents of the county’s youngest students have said goodbye to writing a check for hundreds or thousands of dollars to put their kindergartner in a full-day class.
Gone is the juggle for others concerning how to get their 5- or 6-year-old to school in the middle of the day or picked up at lunchtime after a half-day class.
Kindergartners in Johnson County are going all day. Teachers say the payoff in the years to come will be huge.
Until now, kindergarten teachers at Clark-Pleasant schools had a half-day to teach students how to recognize letters and words and start putting them together and how to count, add and subtract.
But now, for the first time, Clark-Pleasant is offering full-day kindergarten classes for its students. About 480 children are enrolled, and students will spend more time with teachers retelling stories they hear in their own words and practicing writing sentences, Clark Elementary School Principal Shelley Gies said.
“Sometimes time is all we can give them to practice those new skills,” she said.
This year, kindergartners in all of Johnson County’s public elementary schools will have a full day of class. Schools that had charged tuition have wiped away the fees, and schools that had offered only half-day kindergarten now offer only full-day.
The state approved additional funding for kindergarten earlier this year. The money doesn’t cover the entire cost, but Center Grove and Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson schools have cut their fee for parents.