Results of Full Day Kindergarten Study to be Presented at Brick BOE Meeting

Potential full-day kindergarten plan may be revealed

The results of a demographics study aimed at determining how to implement a full day kindergarten program in the Brick Township school district will be revealed at Thursday night's school board meeting.

The study was conducted by Ross Haber Associates, based in Milltown, Middlesex County. The firm has completed similar studies around the state, officials have said.

"He's done all of his research, and he's now ready to present it to the public," said Board President Sharon Cantillo. "We wanted to share everything with the public, and we want them to be included from the get-go."

In past discussions, school board members have said they favored transitioning the district to a full-day kindergarten program. Brick presently has 25 half-day kindergarten classes, Superintendent Dr. Walter Uszenski has said.

Cantillo said she favors switching to a full day program since studies have shown students perform better over their academic careers if they go to kindergarten full time. Additionally, she said, the state will likely require districts to offer full day classes soon.

A previous look by the district into full day kindergarten classes about a year ago showed the district would have to hire 14 new teachers, plus a part-time teacher at a cost of $983,000 per year in salaries and benefits.

The meeting is open to the public and will be held at Brick Township High School at 7 p.m. Thursday night.

J February 21, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Nope. Never full time. Preschool use to be done by lottery and free. Now it's done buy lottery and has fees.
cam February 21, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Whether they decide to move to full day or not, it will be mandated by the state soon anyway. There is already legislation being reviewed and voted on to have all districts offer full day k.
cindy February 21, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Saint Dominic school offers full day kindergartern with around 28 students with a teacher and an aid. There are so many specials from music, art, computers, gym, world language and media center. iPad program and so much more. There is a Discovery Day on March 13th 9a-11a and Open House on March 13th 9a-11a & 1p-2p & 6p-7:30p. I would check it out. Www.stdomschool.org
Kathy Bottone February 21, 2013 at 05:22 PM
It was never full day, but a few years ago it was a longer half day.
oldkodger February 21, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Kids get dumber every year, stupid is as stupid does.
oldkodger February 21, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Katherine, sounds like you came from the public school system
Katherine Lockwood February 21, 2013 at 06:26 PM
And you oldkodger? Stupid is as stupid does? That's your response to the lack of necessary education this town provides to its residents. My children will soon be entering grade school and this is an issue I think long and hard about. Luckily my family is in a position to send the children to parochial school or out of district and unfortunately we may. However this is not the answer for all of bus tax payers who should be able to rely on quality education in our town. Let's start from the beginning, Kindergarten.
Katherine Lockwood February 21, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Thank you Kathy for the clarification, I was told by someone who was elected to the board in the previous election that FT Kindergarten had been implemented by Mary Ann Ceres, but only lasted one year. He also voiced a huge concern from plenty of residents about the less than half day that they currently offer.
Kathy Bottone February 21, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Katherine, Mary Ann was the driving force behind the PLC. I honestly don't remember there being full day program for one year, but I could be wrong.( at my age I do forget a lot! LOL) I do know that a few years ago, the specials were taken out of the program and the hours were cut to what they are now.
cam February 21, 2013 at 06:57 PM
@Katherine....the parochial school curriculum goes at a much slower pace than public schools. Before knocking public school, you should look into what the differences actually are.
JB February 21, 2013 at 07:49 PM
St. Dominic's students have parents who PARENT! They don't have kids coming to school who were never read to or don't know how to write their name or count to 20.....Therefore, they can place more students per class. Since it is the Brick schools job to be the sole educator in many of its students, class size must be smaller. BIG COST$$$$
JB February 21, 2013 at 07:52 PM
Agreed. For next year, they should at least increase the time from a few years ago. It's a joke now. The kids round trip on the bus is longer than the instructional time. Instill the specials again, too! That's a big part of K curriculum.
JB February 21, 2013 at 08:05 PM
No comparison of parochial to public school curriculum. Parochial offers inflated grades, lots of fluff, but not much substance. However, much better parents overall, who are involved in their child's education. Public schools have better qualified staff, realistic grades, and have many opportunities and resources available but are not always taken advantage of by everyone. They have to spend time dealing with and catching up kids who are not raised properly......so I do understand WHY some people choose to educate their children privately, but the better education is in the public schools.....you just need to be vigilant and on top of your children and their education, like anything else!
cam February 21, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Very well said, JB.
Bystander February 21, 2013 at 09:57 PM
The cost of this is ridiculous and with the taxes being raised to pay for SANDY. If they have morning and afternoon kids coming at the same time, where are they all going to FIT? What ever happened to readying your children at home? When my kids went to kindergarten they were way ahead academically. The school system wanted to test them and push them ahead but I said no becuase they needed to get used to the transition from being home to going to school. I personally think making them stay all day is too much of a shock at first. Half day gave them a way to ease into the situation. Glad my kids graduated already, but if I had little ones now I'd be home schooling for a while!
Watchman February 21, 2013 at 10:27 PM
So if I under stand K.L. and j. if you can't afford to send your kids to full time day care or kindergarten you want me as a taxpayer to pay for you? Thanks but no thanks. And to all you people who think the state is going to mandate it ,think again. If they mandate anything they have to fund it . Remember H.I.B.?
Amy February 21, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Regarding parochial schools inflated grades and fluff. I currently have a second grader in a parochial school who will be completing his 3rd book report of the year, has already completed 2 research projects consisting of oral reports with presentation and constructed visual aides. They were reading independently in kindergarten and do many projects involving public speaking as well as community servuce
Amy February 21, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Service, forgive my typo
cam February 21, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Parochial schools are fine, they just move at a different pace. They also do not offer all of the services of a public school.
Amy February 21, 2013 at 11:26 PM
To what services are you referring?
Katherine Lockwood February 22, 2013 at 01:59 AM
It doesn't matter what school you send your child to if you aren't involved, that's a given. We can get into the difference in socio-economic classes and demographics between public and private, and what have you. That's not what this is about. What it is about is providing appropriate education for children who need it.
Adele Leonard February 22, 2013 at 02:26 AM
Without waiting for the vote this evening, it pretty much sounds as if the Board is voting for full day kindergarten this upcoming school year in your child's home school. The PLC will be repurposed.
cam February 22, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Really? I couldn't make the meeting. Were they actually voting on this tonight or just presenting the info from the study?
KC February 22, 2013 at 05:58 AM
A good start would be in the home! IMHO Parents today are too eager to foist parental and readiness responsibilities onto overcrowded classrooms. Keep these little children home for half the day, allow them to nap, AND READ TO THEM! What a concept!
KC February 22, 2013 at 06:03 AM
Very valid points. I have been saying the same for many years now. Unfortunately the scheduling of schools has more to do with accomodating bus schedule runs than with what is beneficial to students, teachers and parents. It is kind of like the leaf pick-up schedule here in Brick. Leaders are too lazy to sit down and figure out what works so they stick to the same old, unworkable systems.
KC February 22, 2013 at 06:10 AM
Readiness comes from the home. I have seen students attending Brick schools all day (and yes even St. Dominics and St. Thomas Academy) and then get farmed out to local day care centers and after school programs and then make a third stop to Huntington Learning Center. The emotional and physical toll it takes on a six, seven or eight year old that is asked to complete a twelve + hour day is not a pretty sight. Let children be children. The months and years fly by. If parents aren't willing to make the financial sacrifice then they should reconsider their role as parents. IMHO
KC February 22, 2013 at 06:12 AM
The beginning is parenting.
shorecorruption February 22, 2013 at 02:22 PM
What about the lead problem in the schools,is it fixed ?
cindy February 22, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Parochial teachers are New Jersey certified and meet the same requirements as public school educators. All teachers must meet the highly-qualified standard, complete 20 hours of professional development each year, and join a Professional Learning Team (PLT). In addition, parochial teachers need to hold Diocesan catechist certification and are required to fullfill 12 hours of faith formation yearly. The curriculum is based on Diocesan Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. The technology at St. Dominic School is outstanding! They have amazing science and computer labs, a T.V. news studio, and wireless iPad, Netbook, and laptop carts that are used in K-8th grade. This year, they even added a 1:1 iPad program. Every 8th grader was given their own iPad to use during their school day!
jenny February 22, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Cindy....you might want to check on that. Not all catholic schools require their teachers to be state certified. They need experience working with children, but often do not need to have passed the Praxis exam and have state certification. I'm not speaking of any school in particular, but I have two friends who teach in local catholic schools, and are excellent, but did not have certification.


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