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North Canton Patch Moms Talk Q&A: All-Day, Every-Day Kindergarten

We want to chat with you about the North Canton City Schools’ preliminary plan to offer an all-day, every-day kindergarten program for the 2011-12 school year. All opinions accepted!

’ officials have said an all-day, every-day kindergarten program would promote greater academic achievement, among other benefits. However, curriculum director Peggy Savage has said, by law, parents still have the right not to send their children to the all-day kindergarten, if it is created next year.

To establish an all-day kindergarten program, district officials have proposed shuffling students around a bit. This redistricting calls for changing and elementary schools into primary centers for K-2, and and Orchard Hill elementary schools into intermediate centers for grades 3-5.

The district still is collecting input on all-day kindergarten and the redistricting. Another community meeting to discuss the topic will take place tonight at 7 p.m. inside ’s Hoover Hall.

Now, “Patch Moms,” let’s get talking about this subject. Are you for or against sending your child to all-day, every-day kindergarten? What do you see as the pros and cons of this program? Do you feel this move will create an educational gap between the students who do and do not attend all-day kindergarten? Do you see the program being more of a benefit or burden for the district? What do you think of the district’s redistricting plan to house the all-day kindergarten program?

Our first question: Basically, what are your thoughts on all this?

If you have your own questions, feel free to post those, as well, and together, we can get even more educated on the issue.

Emily Chesnic February 09, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Well, I guess I will start the Q&A with my own thoughts on this matter…. While I appreciate the North Canton School District and what it is trying to accomplish, I am not for sending my children to all-day, every-day kindergarten. I understand the district does not want their students left behind academically, as other districts across the state already offer the program, but I have to think of my children and their needs first. As a mother, I see a national push for children to grow up too quickly. They are forced to know more and more at a younger age, and I don’t think this necessarily is good. Having children, who are only 5 or 6, go to school all day long is taking away a piece of their childhood. I believe a half-day kindergarten allows them to ease into elementary school more smoothly. As a whole, students are being asked to take more tests and accomplish more these days. I am all for urging students to live up to their potential, but I see a lot of children who struggle with this relatively new pressure. I have observed in other districts that much of the extra time created by all-day, every-day kindergarten is spent taking naps, having lunch and snacks, and for recess time. Therefore, I question how much extra instructional time a student in all-day kindergarten actually receives and if the cost to offer the program is worth it for the district?
Emily Chesnic February 09, 2011 at 02:12 PM
I respect that the district does not want to force parents into sending their children to all-day, every-day kindergarten. I believe that choice should still be left up to the parents. I understand that other mothers may want to send their children to an all-day, every-day program because it is easier with work schedules and picking up older children already in school. I can identify some benefits to the program. Regardless of if your child is or is not in all-day kindergarten, I feel it is important for a parent to spend time daily reading to and engaging in educational play with his or her child. As I said before, children grow up too quickly and parent/child time together is very important. I personally believe reinforcing at home what your kindergarten student is learning in school, is far more beneficial for that child than if he or she were in school all day at the age of 5 or 6. I also question if the district truly is prepared to offer this program by next school year? I have heard a great deal of displeasure over the district’s plan to move grades to other buildings to accommodate the new program, and I can see why this would have some parents concerned.
Tamie Eynon February 10, 2011 at 03:56 PM
My husband and I chose to live in North Canton because of the exceptional school system. I hope this community continues to recognize this and support the schools, no matter what the decision. As a community, we need to put our emotions and paranoia aside and work together to make whatever plan is decide upon actually work. I don't want to see the ECC go away, we had a great experience there but each of the plans presented has some pretty strong advantages. With any plan that is choosen, our children stand to gain something, especially if we remain supportive and positive. Most kids don't have a problem with this. My son is excited to be with friends he made in kindergarten again. As parents, we must set an example of how to handle change with dignity and optimism.
Emily Chesnic February 10, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Well said, Tamie! The final decision must be accepted by the parents of the district and not talked about negatively, especially in front of the children. I am sure the district will continue to shine, no matter the avenue they take. I also am sure this is a difficult decision for the district to make, as there are so many points of view, etc. to take into consideration. We appreciate your input!

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