West Chicago District 33 offers all-day kindergarten program

Published: Monday, April 1, 2013 1:00 p.m. CDT

WEST CHICAGO — West Chicago Elementary School District 33 will offer an all-day kindergarten program beginning in fall 2013, following a vote by the district's Board of Education on Feb. 21 to approve the program.

The program will be piloted at Gary Elementary School within the Dual Language program.

The vote to adopt the program came after months of researching the feasibility and benefits of implementing an all-day kindergarten program, according to a district news release.

A group that included parents, community members, board members, local business people and District 33 administration and staff members researched the all-day kindergarten program from two different perspectives: academic, which included the social, emotional and behavioral components; and operational, which included financial, transportation, staffing/enrollment and building space, according to the release.

The academic research showed that children in an all-day kindergarten program benefit from the increased amount of instruction time. Based on the amount of research that showed the benefits of all-day kindergarten, district board members directed the group to research the operational perspective of implementing all-day kindergarten, according to the release.

As a result of this research, the group created four options for implementation. The committee ultimately recommended the Board of Education pilot an all-day kindergarten program within the Dual Language program at Gary School. This option was chosen because it was cost-neutral to the district, according to the release.

The board and administration will monitor and evaluate the all-day kindergarten program with the intention of expanding it to other schools in the district, the release reads.

Parents who are interested in registering their children in the Dual Language program will have the option of half-day or all-day kindergarten. In order to register for all-day kindergarten, parents will choose the Dual Language/All-day Kindergarten option when they visit their home school for kindergarten registration. As in the past with the Dual Language Program, students will be chosen by lottery, and parents will be notified by May 20, according to the release.

District 33 will host a Dual Language open house from 6 until 8 p.m. April 23 at Gary Elementary School, 130 E. Forest Ave. in West Chicago. At the open house, parents will be able to learn about the Dual Language Program as well as the all-day kindergarten option.

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