Board to discuss all-day kindergarten |

Board to discuss all-day kindergarten

Mike McCollum

— The Steamboat Springs School Board will continue to explore how to implement all-day kindergarten tonight at its monthly study session.

At a School Board meeting Sept. 24, JoAnne Hilton-Gabeler, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction, told board members that a variety of topics must first be studied before determining community impact and feasibility for all-day kindergarten.

According to the board’s agenda, nine topics have been identified as needing further study, including capacity and facilities, impact and competition with existing early childhood services, transportation, curriculum and instruction, along with funding and impact on Montessori programs.

It is not mandatory to attend or provide kindergarten in Colorado. The Steamboat Springs School District offers half-day kindergarten classes that begin in the morning and afternoon. There currently are 118 students in half-day kindergarten programs at Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools.

The Hayden and the South Routt school districts offer full-day kindergarten. The Hayden program costs parents $7 per day, while the South Routt program is free.

Board members previously said that expanding the program from half-day to full-day will cost an additional $200,000 per year. Funding options for implementing the program in Steamboat include fees, money from the city’s half-cent sales tax that generates revenues for the Education Fund Board, grants and state funds.

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All five candidates for the School Board have said they favor all-day kindergarten, and the School Board has expressed its support of such a program. School Board President Denise Connelly said tonight’s meeting is the next step in kick-starting a successful Steamboat program.

“We can’t just jump into this,” said Connelly, who noted that as a parent she petitioned the School Board for all-day kindergarten five years ago.

Also on tonight’s agenda, the School Board will consider adoption of the 2007-08 school district budget and discuss redesigning the district’s Web site.


6:30 p.m. Executive, or secret, session

7 p.m. Public and staff comments

7:20 p.m. Consideration of the 2007-08 budget

7:30 p.m. Nutritional Services update

7:50 p.m. Discussion about full-day kindergarten

8 p.m. Planning for administration and School Board retreat

8:20 p.m. Web site review

8:50 p.m. Adjourn

If you go

What: Steamboat Springs School Board study session

When: 6:30 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.