District To Offer Kindergarten At Each Elementary School

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Enough students in the Payson school district have enrolled in all-day kindergarten to offer one section at each of the three elementary schools.

Also, half-day kindergarten students living outside Payson town limits will still receive transportation from the district, starting Aug. 2.

To offset state cuts that dismantled all-day kindergarten funding, Payson schools will offer an all-day, tuition-based program called Kinder-Plus that costs $185 per month. The district will also offer part-day kindergarten.

“We’re extremely pleased with the response from parents to Kinder-Plus,” said Superintendent Casey O’Brien.

“My only concern is that this is a tuition-based option. Hopefully, full-day kindergarten will be in the state’s budget for the 2011-12 school year.”

The district said it needed 20 students for each section of all-day kindergarten, and until it had enough for three sections, there was great speculation about which school would host the program and how much parents would be inconvenienced for driving students there.

With kindergartners attending their normal school, students can ride the bus.

Parents have also worried that those in part-day kindergarten would lose an academic advantage going into first-grade.

In response to the concern, the district is extending the elementary school day by 15 minutes. This way, each half-day segment will run for three hours.

The morning session will run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the afternoon session starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m.

Families still interested in the all-day program may call their local elementary school to be placed on a waiting list.

Students new to the district and kindergartners who will be 5 years old before Sept. 1 should register before school starts July 28.

Documents required for registration in Payson schools include an immunization record, birth certificate and proof of residence with a current utility bill or rental agreement.

For more information, call the Payson Schools District Office at (928) 474-2070.

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