All Day Kindergarten Update
The District School 203 board discussed a few key issues at their latest board meeting, the first being all day kindergarten. Board members and administrators once again revisited the implications of implementing it at all area elementary schools and at what costs.
Right now, the program’s only available at seven out of 14 schools but the district says it should be at all to better prepare students for common core standards.
“What we do in the classroom and the standards our students are expected to master are different than it was a decade ago. In order to provide all our students with a strong foundation for their entire educational career, now’s the time to make all day kindergarten available for every family who wishes to have it,” said Superintendent Dan Bridges.
Administrators expect about 500 students would enroll in the district-wide all day kindergarten, requiring bus routes to be modified, 11 more full-time teachers to be hired, and new furnishings and technology to be purchased for 22 additional classrooms.
That would mean about $1.3 million in start-up costs, plus an annual ongoing expense of $1.9 million.
Online Payment System
The board also approved of adding a credit card payment option to its website.
The district is contracting with the company RevTrack to allow parents to pay fees for things like registration and athletics or other activities online.
The implementation cost is $45,000 for a year, plus RevTrack will incur 3.49% of every transaction. So to offset that, there will be a $1.95 user fee for each transaction.
The contract is month-to-month so the district can cancel at anytime if it proves not profitable.
Reviewing IASB Resolutions
And lastly, board members reviewed a list of resolutions to be brought before the Illinois Assocation of State Board’s upcoming delegate meeting on November 23rd.
The IASB is proposing 15 different motions ranging from charter schools reimbursement to school board member discipline.
But the only resolution they took issue with is one that allows each local board to determine its own curriculum, including – quote – “opposing any mandated curriculum that comes from the common core standards.”
“In my mind this is a blatant attempt to dilute the common core standards,” said Board Member Mike Jaensch. “Nobody’s mandating curriculum – they’re mandating certain standards and I think the standards are valid. You’ve presented them many, many times. I think they’re great and I think they’re long overdue.”
Board member Terry Fieldan is a member of the IASB but was not present at the District 203 meeting so the local board decided to wait and hear what he had to say before taking a stance. They’ll vote at a later meeting.
In the meantime, they did select Kristin Fitzgerald as the newest delegate to attend the IASB’s November meeting.
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