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: Full-Day Kindergarten Snuck in Budget Without Advance Public Notice  ( 69931 )
mkr
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« #90 : February 17, 2011, 12:18:04 PM »

Quote
WCF Said "Also, 3 years ago, when my child was entering Kindergarten there was much discussion about a proposed Full-Day program (which I was against as my son required a lot of sleep at that time and would not have made it through a longer day).  I remember a question being posed as to whether or not parents may pick up their child at Noon if there was a full day program.  The answer at that time was YES as the core curriculum would be complete by that time.  At that time the proposed full day afternoon consisted of lunch, recess, a small rest (quiet) period and specials; therefore leaving at 1/2 day would not interfere w/ academics.   Is the proposed Full day (afternoon time) the same this time around? "

This is why I am not willing to pay for it......

"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
Scott Mitchell
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« #91 : February 17, 2011, 12:38:27 PM »

Ok I'm confused.  I understand the frustration with the School Board as this does actually happen in many communities.  However, a Full Day Kindergarten program that will add no cost to the budget will not be taken out if the budget is voted down.  What will happen is that the children of the community will suffer as extra curricular activities that cost money in the next fiscal year will suffer.  Now I' am not going to get up on my soapbox and say this is right or this is wrong.  But IF this about Full Day K keep that in mind when you vote.  Taking it out will not affect the bottom line in the next fiscal year.

Vote how you want, I love Democracy.
DolanMom
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« #92 : February 17, 2011, 12:42:01 PM »

First let me say to "Counselor", thank you so much for your posts. It is wonderful to know that there are people like you out there that are as passionate about our children as we are and should be. There are a couple of things that I would like to say about this issue. 

Full time kindergarten needs to be available in all of our schools. It should not be there for childcare reasons, it should not be there just because others are doing it, and it should not be there as "an intervention program for students who are determined to need additional services"! It should be there because truly and honestly our children need it! At that age children thrive on knowledge, whether it is play based or straight up instruction. I have a child right now that is in full day preschool, and that was the best decision I could have ever made for him! They have play time but they also have a curriculum in place that ready's the children for kindergarten. If my son has to go from full time pre-school to 1/2 day kindergarten it would truly be a setback for him, and I feel that is the case for many kids entering 1/2 day kindergarten. I find it even more frustrating that he would have to be tested and determined to be a student that needs additional services in order to receive the full day instruction, REALLY?!

I have another child that is currently in 3rd grade in Fairfax. I can remember how much he loved kindergarten and how short he thought his day was. I can remember speaking about it with his k teacher who felt the same way, and wished that there was more time in her day to teach the children who so badly wanted to stay and learn.

As parents my husband and I have always have been committed to our children's education and we have always been the #1 advocate for them, because that is our responsibility. Personally I don't care about research and I don't care about whether you are stay at home or full time working families. What I care about is that my children and your children have the availability to receive the best education possible, because that is what every child deserves. I think that regardless of what side of the fence you are on we can all agree to that.

 We all have different ideas and we all have different opinions, but what most of us have in common is our children. That is what we need to be fighting for.
mkr
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« #93 : February 17, 2011, 01:11:46 PM »

You are right, my frustration is with the school board!  The Full Day Program is free next year, but what are the costs for the next year, etc.. What are the benefits (i.e. Curriculum increases because a full day)  I am completely in favor of improving the education of ALL the children at BFA.  If going to a full day really only adds Lunch, Recess, and a small rest to the program (which we never had a chance to ask the school board); then I would prefer not to incurr the cost in the school budget (for future years) based on this.   

I do not blindly trust the school administration/board to make all the right decisions for our children.  Too many things get shoveled under the table that no one hears about. 

Yes voting no on the budget will not reduce the budget on Full Day Kindergarten for this year, but this does bring up the fact that we as a community need to stay on top of the decisions made by the school board and speak up when necessary or be able to atleast ask the questions.

And with that I am putting this dead horse to rest........

"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
ohhman
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« #94 : February 17, 2011, 08:30:47 PM »

Again I ask, is it true that Kindergarten is still NOT a requirement to entering 1st grade?  If so, we in Fairfax already offer a 2/3 day program 5 days a week, thus getting kids a good start on their school years.  When will some be able to realize not all our pockets are deep enough to support everything we'd like to have in life!  I for one think I have a hole in my pockets as everything keeps going up EXCEPT my salary!
MKR, NO one will tell you how much it will cost next year as who really knows? & once it's in, we continue to pay for it regardless.  We all should reread WCF 's entry....kids will NOT miss academics if the parents pick up @ noon.......SO why FULL time??!!
There were cutbacks listed on the yellow flyer we received in the mail for the upcoming vote...BUT  HONESTLY, REALLY, WHERE IS THE $$$$ COMING FROM FOR THE FULL DAY K???   I heard it's coming from medicaid tax dollars???!!!!   
You also hear of people moving to a different place so their kids go to a better school.......hmmm, any board comments there?
I think we DO have a pretty good school already!
Mummy
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« #95 : February 17, 2011, 08:56:18 PM »

OMG ... Nothing is FREE ! 


There are many folks who live on a FIXED income.  These same folks have to wonder at what point do they sell because they too now can't afford these FREE; Won't impact the bottom line STATEMENTS?????

Most folks don't want to hear .... Federal Goverment will pay or a FREE GRANT ..... that means we are all paying for it!  Think about everyone around you and if you want Full Day Kindergarten PAY FOR IT!  OH yeah .... then you will want a NEW SCHOOL Bus Just for Kindergarten;  and a NEW Building; and another Teacher; oh yeah at least two assistants; then there is Health Insurance;

But hey .... it is FREE!
slpott
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« #96 : February 17, 2011, 10:05:29 PM »

All of this really saddens me to hear. I hope we all can come to an agreement before our community starts to fall apart. Our government is on the brink of a collapse and we should all be trying to stick together. We may just need one another real soon. I understand that there were serious mistakes made but in the big picture what are we really asking for? We are asking for a chance to ask questions about how this all came about? Lets ask for a chance to be heard rather than vote out of frustration. I think this thread has opened a can of worms so maybe it is time to have a heart to heart. We have a great little town and we all need to stick together even though we do have differences. It is not the easiest of times for most so that in itself sets a tone.
rod anode
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meathead,: dead from the neck up!


« #97 : February 18, 2011, 06:26:12 AM »

He again warned local school boards they will see state support decline $23 million next year. "Which means," the governor said, "they need to work doubly hard to ensure that a year from now their budgets include those reductions so that Vermonters don't have more property tax increases that they can't afford."  THIS IS A QUOTE FROM SHUMLIN  taxes are going up big time next year ,better get all the fluff in this year and the board knows it!!!!!
NPM, LLC
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« #98 : February 18, 2011, 11:31:48 AM »

"we as a community need to stay on top of the decisions made by the school board and speak up when necessary or be able to atleast ask the questions."

Exactly!  All I want is an opportunity to have my questions (as well as all of yours) answered.   I am going to (try to) contact the school board directly and I encourage each of you to do the same. 
This thread is a great way to conduct a thoughtful conversation; however the reality is that the answers will only come from the School Board.  Join me in contacting them to applaud their efforts, voice your concern/frustration or ask your questions. 

Thank you for starting this thread, Patricia.  Also, thank you to all the participants.  I would not have known about the Full Day K program until I received my budget flyer.  Now off to find the Boards contact info...
mirjo
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« #99 : February 19, 2011, 05:24:25 PM »

I'm late getting to the party and didn't have time to read every post in this heated debate, but wish to add that I am not a proponent of Full-Day Kindergarten. I think  we forget that these kids are little and there are many, many ways in which to learn the things they learn in school, w/o spending so many hours in a structured environment! These little guys are sponges and everything you do/say with and to them can be a learning experience.

Anything can be a game to a 3-5 yr old even picking up toys, if you make it fun. You can practice counting, simple add/subtract, learn words. letters, cooperation--all the things learned in school. It doesn't need to be special set aside sit down time and it shouldn't be--kids learn best when they play at that age.

The extended day is sufficient. My son, now in college started kindergarten at age 4-- the afternoon program, I chose that, because he was grumpy and slow to start in the morning and needed to spend several hours eating breakfast in stages (grazing) and easing into the day (he joined the military and is now an early riser with tons of energy...)
He had music, art, PE, and library each week, and the core curriculum. He's a bright kid and doing just fine as an adult. Other than making him tired, cranky, and miserable, I don't see where a full day in kindergarten would have improved his academic standing. He did fine in HS played FB, BB, Baseball. Was always athletic from first grade into college. He played FB in college until it was too time consuming. He has a decent GPA and has made the Dean's List. He's also an Eagle Scout.

I think this push for a full day kindergarten is  more a matter of convenience than what's best for kids. I think we're packing so much stuff into these kids' day and trying to come up with brilliance because someone somewhere has said  that's what we're supposed to do. Really?

Those of you who work in structured environments: How do you really feel about that? How tired are you at the end of your day?

Sadly, it will pass and little kids who go to kindergarten will miss out on being a little kid.

If the world gives you melons, you might be dyslexic
Counselor
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« #100 : February 24, 2011, 08:17:43 AM »

Nothing to really add to the conversation this time, just wanted to be the 100th post in this discussion ;)
al brodeur
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« #101 : February 25, 2011, 05:29:23 PM »

I have no say in this problem but only ask this earlier it said a child had to be 5 by sept for fulltime kindergarden why isn't the child in first grade? I was and did not turn 5 till DEC.
ohhman
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« #102 : February 28, 2011, 02:05:21 PM »

So @ town mtg on Sat., we heard the NEW cost to this full day kindergarten is now up to $22 k!!  from NOTHING to this??   Next year we are told they "think it will cost about $40k"??!!  then how much??  HMMMMM....... what else are we NOT hearing has been CUT in order to keep the budget down while increasing "K" to full day?     I stand with my statement: other towns do not offer ANY  "K" program; we offer a very good 2/3rd day program already & school hours are increasing 20min.  I feel this is substantial for every child & if some need extra, keep on as they do now with offering that program.  If a parent wants to pick up their child @ noon, it has been said they will not be missing academics; so we are offering a daycare time - social time was a word used in the past- that taxpayers pay for.  But the only way to let them hear this is to vote NO on the school budget as it was brought to my attention this AM some people are under the impression we are voting specifically on the "K" issue; NO the only way to say NO to this is by voting down the budget & then MAYBE that issue will be addressed in a way more people are aware of so we can all voice opinions.  It was said @ the mtg that if you go to the board mtgs you will be informed; not always true as there is exec. session.  BUT like my neighbor stated, not all of us have the time to go to these mtgs as we have other responsibilities  (jobs with off hours & kids to attend to).  My opinion is we elect the boards to make decisions/choices BUT it is also their duty to keep us informed of these decisions they make.
 Just a personal statement, as some people questioned & stated their opinions against the topic of full "K",  it was not very professional (NOR KIND), for some members to make faces in disagreement/disgust as what was being said, nor to throw the dagger looks!  Makes others not want to speak!
ASDuling
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« #103 : February 28, 2011, 03:57:02 PM »

"It was said @ the mtg that if you go to the board mtgs you will be informed"

This would be a valid argument if the minutes and agendas were consistently available. The original January meeting in question mentioned "Kindergarten" on the agenda but did not elaborate. Since this meeting, there have been no agendas available on the web site (http://www.bfafairfax.com/pages/schoolboardnews.html).  I know they are posted on the bulletin board at school, but if we don't have kids in school yet we often aren't there.  Am I going to the wrong web site looking for agendas?
Julie & 6pt Dave
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« #104 : February 28, 2011, 05:01:57 PM »

http://fairfax-school-board.fwsu.schoolfusion.us/modules/groups/integrated_home.phtml?&gid=2170710&sessionid=9371f7a5414b27ebd50ac49a37f10719

This is the Franklin West site where you can find the minutes and the agendas.
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