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Should Brick Schools Offer Full Day Kindergarten?

Cost calculated, but is it worth the extra money?

It's no secret that many parents in Brick would prefer the township offer full day kindergarten classes.

It might save on day care or after-care costs, but it would come at a cost of higher tax bills.

There are no easy answers, but school officials have calculated just how much it would cost for the district to offer full day classes.

In order to offer full day kindergarten, the district would have to hire 14 new teachers, plus a part-time teacher at a cost of $983,000 in salaries and benefits, when calculating the new hires according to current union contracts. A total of 32 teachers would be needed in order to have enough staff to adhere to state rules on class sizes – essentially, 21 students per class.

Savings could come, however, if the district were to close the Primary Learning Center on Chambers Bridge Road and move kindergarten classes back to the various elementary schools around town.

Currently, all kindergarten classes are held at the former strip mall, and students begin attending their local elementary schools when they reach the first grade.

Closing the Primary Learning Center, or PLC, would save money that could be used to hire the extra teachers, Business Administrator James Edwards said at a recent Board of Education meeting.

The district could shed an administrator, as well as custodial staff and the overall costs of running the PLC. There would be no additional transportation costs by moving classes back to elementary schools, Edwards said.

There's one problem, however.

"We don't have enough room for all of these students," said Superintendent Walter Hrycenko.

The answer would come by moving administrative offices to mobile trailers, but that would come at a cost of renting or buying the trailers.

"Obviously, if we do this … we would have to go back to music and art on a cart," said Hrycenko, since existing classroom space would have to converted to accommodate kindergarten-only.

Still, the overall cost of adding full kindergarten would come at about $715,000 per year.

"Everyone agrees, philosophically, that full-day kindergarten is a great program and would get our kids off on the right foot," Hrycenko said.

Mrs. G. March 19, 2012 at 11:12 PM
In my grandchildrens' district in another state, they have a half day program, and an optional full day program. If you want the full day program, the TUITION is $2600. It is a lot less than day care, families who want the extra schooling for their children can get it at a reasonable cost, and it is a win-win for all concerned. School taxes do not go up. The reason they can do it this way is Kindergarten is not mandated in their state. Well it isn't mandated here either! I think we should look at this as a way of offering more for less.
Sal Petoia March 19, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Always thought half day kindergarten was to allow youngsters to transition from being at home to going to school without traumatizing them with a full day all at once. It was that way when I began school in 1942 and it was that way when my own kids began school in Brick beginning in 1968, and also when my grandkids began going in 1992. School should be to give an education to our kids. It should not be a "baby sitting" service. If the educators can prove that a full time kindergarten really yields better educated kids, then maybe consider it. If not, stay with the half day and save the taxpayers the money. I'm inclined to believe that the half day class works just fine... just has it has for decades.
John Barton March 20, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Can I ask - Where did this story originate? I have heard BOE members talking about making this a goal, is this story a favor to the BOE or the district? Who decided to start this survey - which can be answer more than once by the same people that have different sign in names. Is this a public interest story or something else? Dan??
J.JONES March 20, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Agreed Sal..Its the way that I remember when I was a youngster and with my children..But in to days economic times both parents need to work to survive and child care is over priced so I can see why some would want all day kindergarten..
KC March 20, 2012 at 03:58 AM
From my point of view the purpose of kindergarten is to INTRODUCE young children to the idea of school, socialization and basic three R's. It is not a babysitting service although many would like it to be. When I was a young parent, I saw children in tears who at a young age were negotiating a twelve hour school day! They would attend all day kindergarten and then be shuttled to after school care. The obvious consequence was tired, crying children. The not so obvious consequence could very well be social maladjustment. I am not in favor of an all day kindergarten. in my opinion It is not age appropriate regardless of how well run a program may be. Oscar Wildes comments that the teachers are overpaid babysitters is typical of the low regard so many have for pedagogy. If they are overpaid babysitters they are making about two dollars per pupil per hour.
KC March 20, 2012 at 03:59 AM
That seems like a very reasonable solution for all Mrs. G!
KC March 20, 2012 at 04:05 AM
On what planet does a rank and file teacher make seventy thousand? You pull stuff out of your nose.
Daniel Nee (Editor) March 20, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Huh? It was discussed at the budget meeting last week. Not sure how reporting it would be a favor to anyone.
DH March 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM
The whole world is a conspiracy, Dan. And you're part of it. You should know that by now. ;)
lol March 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM
If we are going to spend more of the tax payers money on the school system it should be where it is needed the most ! BTHS is a mess. Not only in appearances but the drug problem there is out of control. It's a dirty big secret that just keeps getting swept under the rug by the administrators as well as the Brick Police !
Can't handle the truth March 20, 2012 at 02:59 PM
what part of ..... the Private sector is drowning does anyone not understand???
Can't handle the truth March 20, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Knowing the way the NJEA operates, it would be an excuse to hire more we cant afford to pay for. and lets not forget the BENEFITS !!!!!!!!! WHERE IS THE MONEY TO COME FROM. OH I KNOW THEY CAN HAVE MY HOME!!!!.
J.JONES March 20, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Brick memorial isn't any better ..
Beachie March 20, 2012 at 05:29 PM
it wasn't until my son was in first grade that i found out how unprepared for first grade he really was. he had fooled his teachers to thinking he could read, when he was just memorizing the words or sentences. i had feeling some thing was up when he refused to sound out the words at home while in first grade. imagine my shock when his first grade teacher stated the odds where he would be left back, if he didn't catch up and they were busy teaching him STUFF he should have learned in kindergarten. to this day i'm so greatful to his first teacher who showed me exactly what they were trying to get him to do in class so i could work with him at home. i worked his little tail off to get him caught up, i was constantly in contact with her on his progress and by the end of the year we were rewarded with him being not only caught up on first grade level like most of his class mates and but he would be following his classmates to second grade without a hitch. his first grade teacher has said that she finds many of the kids she gets from the PLC are not taught what they should KNOW for first grade, and she has to spend time catching them up while moving the rest of the class forward as they should be. don't even get me started on the BHTS...
ParentM March 20, 2012 at 06:28 PM
That's bologna. Kids get lost in the system when their parents aren't involved! If you are involved in the first place, you wouldn't have to depend on your money to do the job that you should be doing. Schools/teachers are there to "educate". Provide the fundamentals of learning, studying, and continuing with their education beyond school. Parents are supposed to be fostering those fundamentals given by the teacher. "Slacker" teachers also work at expensive pre-schools as well. Your child won't get "lost in the system" if you're an involved parent. Back to Kindergarten.....they should be full time because so many kids today spend so many years in pre-school before that anyway. THE EARLY YEARS ARE WHERE EDUCATION AND LEARNING SKILLS WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON SUCCESS.
ParentM March 20, 2012 at 06:40 PM
@SoDone - Drugs are out of control throughout this whole town. Actually, all over, unfortunately. That's why I think that a mandatory drug program should be implemented for 13 years of a childs education. Apparently, schools can't control the drug problem unless it is happening on school grounds. Most of the drug problem starts outside of school. Refer back to one of my previous comments. What in the world have our kids been taught? Take a pill when something isn't going right? Kids have no coping skills. Maybe they are sheltered too much. More addiction than ever. More suicides than ever. More 30+ "kids" still living at home. Understandably the economy had a little to do with lack of jobs, but NOT lack of responsibility. Back to topic -- Full time Kindergarten and 13 year "Drug/Life Awareness" program. That's would be a buck well spent.
ParentM March 20, 2012 at 06:57 PM
@bths06 - Congrats on your education. Should've read my previous comments before you entered. BTW - My children all went to Brick schools. Half when PLC didn't even exist, and half when it did. All college degrees. Wasn't bashing schools. More like disgusted with lack of parenting skills today. Kids today are nothing but whiney, lazy, self centered and addicted because they can't handle reality. Apparently, some make it through. You for instance, and my own. But, it seems few and far between are there any responsible, motivated young adults. The world is in trouble if something doesn't change. Topic -- Kindergarten. EARLY EDUCATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME IN A CHILDS LEARNING YEARS! That is what they will live for the rest of their lives. K should be full time experience for children of todays society.
Sophia Loyd March 20, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Gianna, I am sorry to break the news to you but it is not a true fact that every town in NJ has full day Kindergarten. In fact, Kindergarten is not even mandatory in the state of New Jersey. The 3.5 hours a day does not make your children fall behind, education is important to be done at home as well. If you feel your child needs more help with things that is where it becomes your job as a parent to do your job at home to reinforce what is taught in class.
John Barton March 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM
HS teachers claim middle school teachers aren't preparing children for HS too. It is an easy way to justify a delay or a gap in education. What do you think caused the 1st graders reading to start developing? You have to realize that learning is developmental and the most importanant part is to participate, you should have realized last year. Lets hear it about BTHS, is you child going to end up there, why not get it out so the probelmes can be corrected.
BMF March 22, 2012 at 04:01 AM
It think it is sad that people are willing to fork over more money to have their garbage picked up but not for educating our future. And if a babysitter makes 5 dollars an hour then times that by 20 children times a 7 hour day...wow 700 dollars .. hmm dont think any teacher makes that.
TRN Graduate August 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Who's to say that the kids are at home with their parents? Lots of parents work and don't get that time at home.
Mom September 06, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Do any of you people have children of your own? Because many seem to be arguing over money instead of taking into consideration the children. Maybe they are fine with half day...maybe they would benefit from full day..look into those studies. But to attack parents and teachers on this blog is unfair. We (parents and teachers alike) are looking for what's best for the CHILDREN). We are struggling financially like all of you..and my husband is a teacher with a paycheck that is decreasing so low it's tough for us to live too. So stop with the snide remarks about parents and teachers who care and are just trying to make it by like everyone else who has no choice but to have faith in public education.
Mom September 06, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Oh my goodness. Is that what teachers are? Excuse me, Oscar, but spend one day in a classroom with students, meeting the state curr standars, trying to influence lives, create comfort in school, and teach kids to read, write, listen, etc. find me a babysitter who will do all of that for 20+ kids. In some countries teachers are respected. We don't choose this job for money- or benefits anymore, thanks- we choose to help raise YOUR children and keep them educated and safe while in our hands. And, don't worry, I know your type and know my words will fly through you. Have a nice day, sir. :)
Mom September 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Thank you Michael. I can breath now. :)
Mom September 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM
I'd be living the dream, Oscar. Tell me which district..I'll apply tomorrow! We make 45,000 here. 9 yrs in with masters and supervisor certification.
Mom September 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM
If you wanted children, why choose daycare? Watch your words please.
Mom September 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM
No 25 years from now we will not have pensions and will be living with our children.
Mom September 06, 2012 at 02:04 PM
And pls don't forget that when we don't work in the summer..we don't get paid...and there are very few summer positions available for educators.
BW September 06, 2012 at 02:19 PM
@ Mom well since it is Sept and school is in session, and it is 10 am, you must be using a school computer to reply to all these messages. So maybe you should get back to what you are being paid for, instead of blasting people for their opinions
BL February 21, 2013 at 02:18 PM
You have to hire new teachers because right now you have one teacher doing a morning class and then that same teacher doing an afternoon class. Under the new program you would have to have 2 teachers since the morning class would be going full day and the afternoon class going full day.

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