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Douglas implements full-day kindergarten

Staff Reports

Shannon Litz/The Record-Courier

Full-day kindergarten will be provided at all seven Douglas County elementary schools when the 2013-14 school year starts on Aug. 19.

Full-day kindergarten was implemented last year for students in the Carson Valley attending Jacks Valley, Scarselli and Meneley elementary schools.

School board members and principals were notified by the superintendent June 27 that additional funds have been identified to now include students at the district’s remaining four sites: Zephyr Cove, Piñon Hills, Gardnerville and Minden elementary schools. Parents at these four schools will be receiving letters from their principals in the coming week with the news.

The partial implementation began last year for Douglas County when a competitive federal grant was awarded to the district to assist elementary schools with the most at-risk populations.

“The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy project is part of the reason the district will be able to stretch the new funding from the 2013 legislative session to more schools and then use a variety of state and federal categorical grants to provide full-day kindergarten to all of our students next year,” said Douglas County School Superintendent Lisa Noonan. “This has been a goal that many of us have been working toward for 20 years in Nevada. I am so grateful to the many members of our Legislature who continued with this expansion. It was a great collaboration of our legislators, our governor and the department of education. They all worked together to identify some critical funding to support success in early literacy.”

The state’s additional funding was not sufficient to make full-day kindergarten a reality for every elementary school in Nevada but it is a significant step forward in the overall goal.

Noonan hopes that by the end of the 2015 legislative session, the funding will be secure for Douglas County so that the patch-working of grants will no longer be needed.

“It would be a wonderful accomplishment for Nevada to see FDK become a permanent part of our regular funding formula,” Noonan said. “We believe graduation begins in kindergarten and a quality full-day kindergarten program offers children the time and attention they need to be successful learners in this important first year of school. Early literacy is critical and a strong foundation can give a child confidence academically, socially and emotionally. Adoption of the Common Core State Standards has brought more rigorous requirements for students in grades K-12. Full Day K is a wonderful opportunity to set the stage for navigating first grade and beyond.”

Letters were not needed for families pre-registered at Meneley, Jacks Valley or Scarselli since those families were already expecting full-day kindergarten for next year.

Families who are new to the area or who have not yet completed their registration for kindergarten may contact their neighborhood school when offices reopen on or about Aug, 5 to do their paperwork at that time.