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D. 202 Board of Education to discuss full-day kindergarten plan

The District 202 Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2019 to discuss recommendations regarding creating space to allow for full-day kindergarten for all eligible students. 

The meeting will be open and include time for public comment.

The Board is not expected to vote on the recommendation on April 3rd. However, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lane Abrell asked the Board to take action at the Board’s April 15, 2019 regular meeting.

At the Board’s March 18, 2019 regular meeting, Abrell recommended the district build a new elementary school similar to the last several built during the district’s heavy growth period. The district already owns several appropriate sites, Abrell said.

The district has always offered half-day kindergarten. However, it has been able to provide only one full-day kindergarten class at each elementary school – 408 students total – the last three years because of space constraints, while enrollment dropped and finances stabilized.

One of the options to create new space is to build a new building to allow all District 202 elementary schools to host full-day kindergarten. District officials estimate that about 1,500 children are eligible this year for kindergarten.

A new building could also mean the district may not have to expand the current Bonnie McBeth Learning Center for additional preschool programs as suggested earlier this year.

Construction could take about three years, Abrell said. During that time district administration would also continue to monitor and evaluate the need for more preschool space. The new building could also house some preschool programs as the current elementary schools do.

The current partial full-day kindergarten program would continue until the new school opens.

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