Inside this Ranch View Elementary classroom, teacher Eman Suleman prepares to welcome her students for all day Kindergarten.
After teaching in a half-day program last year at Meadow Glens, Suleman is excited to dive deeper into her curriculum and to spend more time with her students.
“You can meet with more groups and you can meet with the low group, the middle group, and the high groups and have time to do that,” said Suleman. “Last year you met with a couple groups a week because you only had time to meet with one group a day. Where as now we can meet with multiple groups because we have more time.”
Last November, the District 203 board approved phase two of all day Kindergarten implementation. Adding the remaining seven schools to the seven Title I pilot schools that started the program last year.
District officials said by taking all day kindergarten district wide, it will help build a solid academic foundation for their youngest learners.
“One of our beliefs with sustained school improvement is that prevention trumps remediation,” said Dan Bridges, Superintendent of District 203. “In other words, the earlier we can begin to support and serve kids and the more services we can provide them in their academic journey, it will pay long term dividends in their long term career.”
Suleman says that by having almost double the time with her students will help her and fellow teacher, Nancy Sheridan, go deeper into the rigorous standards required by Common Core.
“Common core has a lot more expected of a five year old than a six year old, so having the kids here all day it will really help us implement the standards we need to hit,” said Suleman.
In addition to academic advantages of the program, Suleman said students will also be exposed to more social situations which will help them learn a routine and develop maturity.
“Starting with the full day here, I think first through fifth will be a lot easier,” said Suleman. “All their routines and schedules and understating a full day and being in school for the period of time is much better because in the past first grade was their real first day of school so I feel as the years go on it will just be better and better.”
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