Transitional kindergarten debate | October 16, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Schools - October 16, 2013

Transitional kindergarten debate

• Las Lomitas district doesn't offer it, but state says it's mandatory.

by Barbara Wood

In June 2012 Phil and Christie Kiekhaefer moved from Redwood City to Menlo Park, downsizing their family of four into a tiny two-bedroom, one-bath rental they owned, because they felt the Las Lomitas School District would provide a superior education for their children.

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Posted by Tricia Barr
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 17, 2013 at 10:19 am

I applaud Superintendent Beth Polito's perspective and approach:

"In Woodside, where the school currently has three one-year kindergarten classes and one two-year class, Superintendent Beth Polito is a champion of the two-year program. She believes it could save the district money because it will reduce the number of children who repeat a grade as well as those who require expensive special services.

"Hopefully it's (fewer) referrals for early intervention. It's (fewer) referrals for special education services — if you can get them right at the beginning for two solid years."

Even if a judge says the program is not a legal requirement, the district would keep it, she said, "if I had anything to do with it." Why? "Because it's the right thing to do for kids.""

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Posted by common sense
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Oct 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I believe that Las Lomitas is doing the right and fair thing with taxpayer money. Providing an extra year of Kindergarten for the oldest fourth of students makes absolutely no sense at all, and I applaud Las Lomitas for using taxpayer funds in a way that provides the most benefit to all of its students. Students in Las Lomitas already arrive prepared to start kindergarten, so for the District to spend money in this way takes away from the funds it has available to spend on the rest of its K-8 students. If an extra year of Kindergarten is such a good thing for students, then it should be available to all students. Why should only the oldest 1/4th of students get an extra year of Kindergarten? They don't need an extra year of Kindergarten, and why should the district provide what is essentially just a year of free childcare to the oldest 1/4 of kids who all the data show are the LEAST likely to need extra help. This is not just wasteful, it's unfair.