With nearly three-quarters of Braintree's incoming kindergarten families now having expressed interest in some form of full-day kindergarten, school officials are working to craft a plan that could open full-day classes at each of the town's six elementary schools.
On Monday, Braintree schools held a full-day kindergarten lottery that will help determine which students get a slot in the current . The lottery could also be used to decide which students potentially end up at their home schools, an expansion of the program that appears more likely now that 49 additional parents have joined .
Those extra parents, however, are only interested in the program at their elementary schools, Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg said. To make the expansion a reality, Braintree needs the families of 180 students to commit and send in a deposit by March 1, though Dr. Kurzberg said the sooner the better for planning purposes.
In the hopes of clearing up any confusion about the potential expansion and the program in general, the administration is asking for questions on FDK from parents. They can be emailed to Amy Seich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A "Frequently Asked Questions" document providing answers will be emailed on Monday, Jan. 30 to parents who registered for full-day kindergarten. Then, on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., there will be an information session in the auditorium at . Everyone is encouraged to attend, Dr. Kurzberg said, especially since the list of students is constantly shifting.
While there is no guaranteeing classes at each elementary school right now, Dr. Kurzberg said that "based on the interest that’s been expressed, there certainly will be more than three classrooms next year.”
There is a fourth classroom available at the high school, but it is currently used for lunch and would be cramped, Dr. Kurzberg said. There could be additional flexibility gained by opening up the elementary schools and thinking of full-day kindergarten as a district-wide program, he added.
If one elementary school has signed up less than 20 students, for example, another school with a waiting list could send students to the other school if their parents agreed.
"Some parents are anxious and want to know as soon as possible. We think we have a reasonable timeframe to resolve how many classrooms there will be," Dr. Kurzberg said. "We’re trying to accommodate as many people as we can."
Correction: Previously the article said that the deposit was refundable. That is incorrect. Refundable deposits are only available in certain cases involving the possibility of home school FDK. More information will be sent to parents on Jan. 30.