Braintree's full-day kindergarten program has drawn significantly more families into its lottery for spots at the high school than last year's kick-off process, with 140 students vying for 60 seats available next fall.
The lottery will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 23 in the conference room at the on Pond Street. Attendance by parents is not required, Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg said.
A pilot full-day kindergarten with three clasrooms at was and began this past September. The lottery on Jan. 23 will determine the initial list of 60 students to enter in fall 2012, though it is likely the list will change as families rethink their decision to enroll and others sign up for the waiting list, Dr. Kurzberg said.
This Friday is the cut-off date for being included in the lottery, but the school system will continue to accept applications after that date. Tuition is $3,000 and there is a monthly payment plan available, as well as assistance for lower-income families.
Pam Kiley – a major force behind the program's creation – suggested during the Jan. 9 School Committee meeting that the administration move full-day kindergarten out of the high school and into the unused portion of the Monatiquot School. There will be "a lot of unhappy parents" if 80 or more students are not allowed into the program because of lack of space, Kiley said.
Last year's lottery drew 66 applicants for 40 spots, prompting the School Committee to approve a third classroom. After filling all three, about a dozen students remained on the waiting list last spring.
Kiley said that BHS is not an appropriate space for the kindergarten-age children. She cited in particular the fenced-in recess area and the lack of dedicated lunch and gym space, which could be made available at Monatiquot.
"I just hope we don't tie our hands by going with the decision we made last year to go to the high school," Kiley said.
Dr. Kuzberg said that changing the location now would delay the program and would likely not fit into the budget plans envisioned for next year. The committee will begin to go through a proposed schools budget this winter. Newly-elected committee chair Shannon Hume added that full-day kindergarten will be up for discussion during an upcoming meeting, but was unable to specify the date as future agendas had yet to be written.