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Students to be Bused to Braintree Kindergarten Center

Braintree Public Schools will hold an informational meeting on kindergarten Jan. 23 at BHS.

Monatiquot School on Brow Avenue in Braintree.
Monatiquot School on Brow Avenue in Braintree.
Braintree Public Schools will provide half-day kindergarten students and a portion of full-day students transportation to and from the new kindergarten center next year.

As the plan stands now, the only kindergarten classes held outside of Monatiquot School will be one full-day kindergarten class each at Flaherty, Morrison and Hollis schools, and potentially the three classes currently being held at Braintree High School.

All other full-day kindergarten classes will be held at Monatiquot with the half-day classes. There should be enough room at the school to ensure that all parents who sign up for the tuition-based full-day program get a spot for their children, Superintendent Dr. Maureen Murray said.

Dr. Murray told the School Committee Monday night that some kindergarten center logistics remain under consideration, such as where to locate the pickup and drop-off area, but that busing will operate similarly to as it does now for half-day kindergarten, with the additional stop of Monatiquot.

That means half- and full-day students will go to their bus stop in the morning, get picked up and brought to their neighborhood school. They will then pause there for a few minutes with an aide, who will bring the group of kindergarteners back to the bus to go to Monatiquot.

The opposite will happen in the afternoon, with the kindergarten center students going first to their neighborhood schools and then to their bus stops.

At midday, half-day students will be bused directly home as they are currently.

Students at Ross Elementary, a walking school, will be included in the transportation plan. Those who live close enough to Monatiquot, on Brow Avenue just off Braintree Square, and would have otherwise gone to Hollis, may be walkers, Dr. Murray said.

The school department will hold an information meeting on kindergarten Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at BHS.

School Committee members in December unanimously approved opening Monatiquot as a kindergarten center starting in 2014-2015. The school will have a full-time nurse and a full-time principal.

Mary Struzziero, the retired principal of Flaherty Elementary and Braintree's first full-day kindergarten principal, was brought in to help with the center's planning, Dr. Murray said.

"We have a good team," the superintendent said. "We're very excited about the center."

A full-day kindergarten lottery will be held this winter. Even if there is adequate space for all interested families, Dr. Murray said, it can be used to determine placement in the home school full-day classes.

Re-opening the former Braintree elementary school will add 12 classrooms system-wide. 

Newly-elected School Committee Chair David Ringius, Jr. said Monday night that the committee will dedicate itself over the next few months to approaching Braintree's space needs issue in a "concrete and defined manner."

The School Building Committee meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Colbert School on Pond Street. 

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