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Full-Day Kindergarten Still on the Radar for Chelmsford School Officials

According to a report in the Lowell Sun, full-day kindergarten still could be a possibility in the future in Chelmsford.

Would you support kindergarten in Chelmsford? (File Photo)
Would you support kindergarten in Chelmsford? (File Photo)
Earlier this year, Chelmsford school officials decided that the cost of full-day kindergarten in town was not currently something fiscally plausible. But the possibility is still very much alive for kindergarten coming to Chelmsford in the future.

According to a report in the Lowell Sun, Superintendent of Schools Frank Tiano plans to dedicate $1 million to start preparing for a full-day kindergarten program, spread out across four years beginning in Fiscal Year 2016.

"We're not walking away from (full-day) kindergarten. We brought forward a plan. It didn't work," School Committee Chairman Mike Rigney said last week, according to the Lowell Sun report. "We're going to find a way to do it, and this is a good start toward that, I think."

Click here to read the Lowell Sun report in its entirety.

Do you support the possibility of full-day kindergarten in Chelmsford? Let us know your thoughts on the issue in the comments section below.
Anna Bucciarelli March 28, 2014 at 07:28 AM
Be reasonable Vinnie ... not everyone can pay for it as you and others did and do. There is much to be said for very early education and intervention ... somethings are simply worth the expense and this, I believe is one of them. Of course, good parenting certainly comes into play ... no disagreement there. Seems to me the combination is unbeatable.
myron March 28, 2014 at 10:23 AM
As a boomer who grew up in Boston I had kindergarden. When we moved to Chelmsford I was shocked that they didn't have it. All, of my kids went through pre school and kindergarden and it was well worth it. The schools should have it. It pays off and for those who insist they not pay for it. you will pay sooner or later. Maybe the town can charge on a sliding scale. And remember, the better the school system the more your kids benefit and the more your house is worth.
Marcia Reinhagen Sullivan March 28, 2014 at 10:45 AM
I would like to see the empirical studies that shows that by 6th grade there is an appreciable difference between the kids who had half day kindergarden versus full day. I do know that the studies that I have looked into about head start programs showed no appreciable difference. (The President quoted a study that did show an appreciable difference, but he failed to mention that that particular program spent between $20K and $30K per student. If we have that kind of money per student they would all do better but we have to be realistic about what we can and cannot afford.) If the studies show an appreciable difference then I would be in favor of implementation of full day kindergarden but if it is negligible, then I would rather we concentrate our funds on the students who are falling behind and perhaps on the parents of these students, teaching the parents what they need to be doing to help their children be successful in school and beyond.
Alan Jay Rom March 28, 2014 at 11:26 AM
Dear Vincent: I refer you to two items, one in today's New York Times, entitled "Project to Improve Poor Children's Intellect Led To Better Health, Data Shows." This was a longitudinal study commonly known as the Abaededarian Project which studied two groups since 1972. There is an even earlier longitudinal study, commonly known as the Perry Pre-School Project which has similar results. The other is a letter in today's Boston Globe, entitled "Push for Universal Preschool is Key." This letter points out that preschool helps to lower the achievement gap and help children develop cognitive skills. It ends with this quote, "Heck, Oklahoma has universal preschool; why doesn't Massachusetts?" It is great that you were able to provide these educational services to your family, but, as you do not live on an island by yourself, but in a community with people of different skills and abilities to provide what you were able to (there are many two parent families where both have to work and there are many single parents who struggle to provide the basics), "we," the collective community must provide what is important for all children. The Globe letter discussed the often-discussed arguments from businesses that the schools are not producing educated, skilled students for an ever-changing world. While the purpose of school is not only to produce such results (one purpose, according to this letter, is to help students become "well-rounded individuals"), it is becoming more important each day that schools begin as early as possible. Those communities providing preschool (not to mention full-day kindergarten) have a head-start on achieving these educational goals. So, while the discussion has not revolved around preschool, but something most communities in Massachusetts take for granted (full-day kindergarten), we have a long way to go in Chelmsford before we address universal pre-K. Let's at least try to catch up to Oklahoma!
Vincent DiRico March 28, 2014 at 11:50 AM
WOW, where to start, you extended your hand even more!! ---> Perhaps you missed this gem? "the children were given full-time day care up to age 5 that included most of their daily meals, talking, games and other stimulating activities. " ---> I'll let one slide BUT did you miss this one? "$16,000 per child per year in 2010 dollars" ---> If a parent to be cannot provide "care up to age 5 that included most of their daily meals, talking, games and other stimulating activities. " and they insist on becoming a parent, maybe they should be snipped after the first one. ---> Time to put your hand back into your pocket!

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