Full-Day Kindergarten Lottery, Bursting with Braintree Families, to be Held Soon

The lottery will take place at the Colbert Administration Building on Pond St. on Jan. 23, though Braintree parents do not have to be present to participate.

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.

Orson Wallace January 13, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Pam Kiley is a nut anyways, and someone who won't be reelected to the School Committee due to her skewed views, her unnecessary attacks on our superb Superintendent Dr. Kurzberg, her disrespect of her fellow Committee members and her awful personality-coupled with the fact that she has no respect or knowledge of Mass. Open Meetings Laws, and tries to push items not on an agenda to the front, when parents in town truly could care less if the FDK program disappeared. We would soldier on, and make it work as our parents did and their parents did. The problem with FDK is parents who are too lazy to have their kids at home; they'd rather be able to watch their morning shows, get their nails/hair done or just have "me" time...sorry you're a parent, and your kids should be your TOP priority. I agree that FDK can work for those parents whose jobs don't allow them to be home with their kids at the half day points, and these children would have a leg up on the half day kids come first grade with having already experienced a full day, but there is NO research (despite what crazy Kiley might tell you) that kids in Half Day are any worse off than those FDK. In fact, tell our local elected officials in town (all of whom were in half day) that they are somehow less qualified than a student who did FDK.
Kelly January 18, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Dear halfdaykindergarten.org, Not sure where you are getting your info that supports that half days work - Finland? Seriously, "listen to the experts"?? And who would that be? The Mass DOE and The Early Education for All --just to name a few experts, have current research showing that full-day kindergarten (FDK) benefits children’s academic, social and emotional development.15 Through the Kindergarten Grant Program, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) provides support to local school districts to transition part-time kindergarten classes to FDK and improve the quality of full-day programs. Funding for the Kindergarten Development Grant line item peaked at $33.8 million in FY08 and has since been reduced to $25.7 million for FY10. The proportion of Massachusetts’ children enrolled in full-day kindergarten classrooms is now 77%, up from 38% in 2000. After all it sounds like for your name that you have a bias after all.....
Kelly January 18, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Dear Mr. Wallace, Ms. Kiley is anything but nuts. As a parent of two school-aged children in Braintree, I find her to be a strong advocate for students. Ms. Kiley does not get a salary -- but Dr. Kurzberg does. Your narrow minded view that parents don't care about FDK is competely ridicious. Furthermore, the fact that you called FDK advocates as "lazy parents": proves that you are definitely out of touch with not only parenting --but the education system in Massachusetts today, NOT 50 YEARS AGO. Please stop with your self-righteous attitude. I want what is best for my child and I am anything but lazy. I volunteer weekly in both of my children's classrooms, I volunteer in their school's office and help with paperwork, I am a girl scout leader. I co-chair my children's PTO and I attend school committee meetings. I am very active in my children's lives and in my community. What do you do Mr. Wallace besides stick your nose into other people's business????
Braintree_Parent January 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM
@ Mr. Wallace and halfdaykindergarten.org: Parents in favor of an FDK (for educational reasons only) are working with the public school system to ensure there is a slot for every student who prefers a FDK program over a Half-Day Kindergarten (HDK). You have the right to a HDK preference, just as my children have the right to a FDK. My preference to a FDK does not make me "lazy" or "selfish". As a parent who works roughly 60 hours a week, I chose to spend my spare time rallying my fellow parents, attending school committee meetings, and working with the system to achieve a goal that is more common among your neighbors than you seem to recognize. For the record: I do not frequent nail salons or watch soap operas. I give all of my love, attention and dedication to my family and making sure they have access to the advantages they need to achieve their personal best. I DO NOT believe in standardized tests, I believe in encouraging an individual to maximize their potential and not be happy with what someone else tells them is "their best". I strongly urge you to reconsider respecting another one's pont of view: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Full_Day_vs_Half_Day/ Just to be clear, the second 1/2 day to FDK is supplemented with tuition, not taxpayer's dollars.
TeacherMom January 20, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Halfdaykindergarten, do you copy/paste mostly every comment you post on the Patch and the PL? I've read the same comment on multiple articles. Therefore, I'll just save myself some time and copy/paste my response to your comment on the PL article last week... halfdaykindergarten, do you work? I fully agree that children need balance, however I am an educator and have researched immensely the benefits that a full day program has to offer. I am also a parent, and would like to be able to work next year. This will be impossible for me without a full day program. My child, who will be entering K next year, is already reading, writing, and computing. She has been in a full day nursery school, affording me the ability to work this past year. Unfortunately it's a double edged sword for our 2-working parent family, and one of us will become unemployed if a full day program is not offered. And last time I checked, Europeans' work schedules were very different from Americans' work schedules. Let's not compare apples to oranges!


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