Friday, November 19, 2010

Romp-a-"Room To Play" .... Will We Pay?

As the budget season progresses, we are hearing a lot of very different recommendations from our Board of Education appointed committees. Several have stirred up some philosophical debate. One that has started to create some controversy and conversation, is an issue very close to our school. The recommendation is to move towards a half-day Kindergarten. I ask simply, "How do you think moving to a half-day Kindergarten will effect the district?"

Dr. Joseph A. Putrino Jr.


  1. I think it is very sad. I think all these talks of cuts is extremely sad because I feel the children are not being put first. Is money the only thing that is important? Does this mean that the kindergartens must go home after their half day or they will provide some kind of aftercare for kindergartens for, of course, a fee. Not everyone has a babysitter or an au pair. I think kindergarten should be a full day. To just go into First Grade for a full day not having a full day kindergarten is really a lot to ask of these children. Didn't Montclair have pre-kindergarten at one time or am I mistaken?

  2. Tatiana,
    I remember when we used to have a full day pre-K for free! The district my children attend (River Edge) has a 1/2 time Kindergarten. I hated the scheduling and finding the right aftercare for my son's pick/up and drop off especially on days that my child was let out early.

    I also think the financial situation we are under is very difficult, but I also know that parents will just have to learn to adjust. How will this affect how teachers teach though? And I wonder if this has any bearing on what kind of students we receive in the first grade. Will they all know their ABC's?

  3. Funding...funding...funding We're just not doing something right! I find it hard to believe that money is our issue, in the sense that there's not enough. I believe that the complete info-structure and design of our organization is off kilter and our children are the ones suffering.

    Moving to a half-day kindergarten is NOT the answer!!!!

    A healthy learning environment that fosters student achievement is based on instruction, curriculum, and assessment. Any plan of action that goes against (decreases) any one of those elements is a breach to our goals of the system. The answers to our problems in education (budget based or achievement based problems) will not be systemically rooted in taking away instruction. As an organization we must figure out how to spend our money wiser.

  4. I agree with Sam. The district just built and opened up a brand new school the same year the Board is contemplating closing two schools, implementing half-day kindergarten, and outsourcing the committed, competent, and dedicated paraprofessionals they already have. The lives of children should not be short changed.

  5. I agree with you Sam. Education of our children should be considered above and beyond anything else. I can't believe that in a town that has outrageous property taxes the first solution to save money is to cut educational programs. I also can't believe that the district is considering closing two schools when they just spent millions building a new one. Can anyone explain that to me?