Monday, December 7, 2009

Full Day Kindergarten?

Tonight at (my first) Board meeting, we discussed the desire to offer full day kindergarten. There are some challenges to doing this, not the least of which is financial. The biggest costs are facilities and staff. At the same time, we know that parents really want this option, so we want to see how we might be able to do this.

We've asked the administration to explore a possible public-private partnership. the concept is that the district would offer a half-day program, but would partner directly with a private party to offer the "afternoon" part of the program. The first part is pretty simple- it's what we already do. The second part is basically enrolling a student in a private program where the district rents the space, but doesn't directly manage the program. It would be up to the private party to supply the second half of the day.

This all implies that there would be cost to the parents, which is essentially unavoidable in the current environment. However, that would hopefully be a modest cost.

I want to stress that this is in the investigation phase. However, it was interesting enough that we're willing to look at it and see what we might be able to do. More details will be available at the Jan 11 Board meeting. I can't make any promises whatsoever. However, I'm excited that we're trying to see what we can do.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More than just "Book learning"

There was an interesting article in Time Magazine last week about the current generation of children and how parents play a different role than in the past. The thrust of the article was "let kids make mistakes, because that's how they learn". At a micro level we can think about kids learning to be responsible by suffering the consequences of forgetting their homework.

I chose to focus on a different subtext to the article, though. There are interesting comments about the ability of new college graduates to be true leaders, to experiment, and not be afraid to fail. This is critical to their success as adults, and this skill is learned as a child.

Have a read of the article and please let me know how you think we're doing with this aspect of raising the next generation.,8599,1940395,00.html