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Parents Invited to Schools for Meetings on Full-Day Kindergarten

Radnor School District has scheduled meetings at each of its elementary schools about the implementation of a Full-Day Kindergarten program that will begin in September 2014.

Radnor School District has scheduled meetings at each of its elementary schools about the implementation of a Full-Day Kindergarten program that will begin in September 2014.

Wayne Elementary School's meeting will take place Thursday, Jan. 30.

Radnor Elementary School's will take place Monday, Feb. 3.

Ithan Elementary School's will take place Thurs., Feb. 6.

Each will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the respective school.

According to the district, the purpose of these meetings is to provide: 1) an opportunity for district administration to explain and illustrate the planned facility modifications that are unique to the specific elementary school; 2) an opportunity for administrators and teachers to provide highlights of the program, including how children will benefit from participation; and 3) an opportunity for parents to express their concerns about the implementation of the program so that the concerns can be addressed throughout the planning and implementation process.
 
Parents of children currently attending elementary school and parents who plan to send their children to elementary school next year or in the future are invited to attend.
Annie Webb January 21, 2014 at 11:07 AM
ANY taxpayer in Radnor should attend these sessions to voice concerns about space, need and cost for FDK to be implemented. It's a shame the district didn't have one session where all the schools could come together. Parents at each school need to know how this will impact their sister schools. WES will be overcrowded with kids still learning in trailers outside while a multi-million dollar construction project is going on outside the paper thin walls. Not the best learning environment. I think a one year delay to actually review facilities, cost, and need of FDK is in order. We need the full picture on this before the district goes full steam ahead.
jcb January 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM
Annie, I disagree. The administration will be there, but not school board members, who continue to deny taxpayers of the opportunity to a true forum on the issue, and not an informational session from the schools. Dr. Kelly cannot answer questions candidly or state his own opinions if they fall outside of the "FDK this fall" realm. Such a waste, and complete disregard for concerned parents. Shame on the RTSD board "leadership" for dictatorial governing.
Annie Webb January 21, 2014 at 04:15 PM
You have a point there, jcb.
Ylva January 22, 2014 at 07:50 AM
All Elementary Parents should attend to understand how this program will be rolled out and how your child's day at school will be affected. Information on the RTSD website notes that After School Clubs will be delayed or relocated due to domino effects of additional students, more Specials will be delivered outside of their purpose-built spaces, pick-ups & drop-offs staggered to reduce congestion, Special Education spaces are being consolidates and reduced for the second time in several years, etc.
Brendan McGowan January 23, 2014 at 09:13 AM
The other night the League of Women Voters did an excellent job in facilitating a discussion over the concerns of parents and Radnor residents surrounding FDK. The concerns varied from issues such as facility preparedness and overcrowding, adverse financial impacts and lack of planning, process concerns, and curriculum concerns. The overarching similarity in each area was a lack of preparation by the school board and a real concern from parents over the children's health, safety, and learning environment. After an open and engaging dialogue, the head of the teacher's union, David Wood, responded to parents by stating that the roll out of FDK will always contain problems and suggested that many of the teachers think full day kindergarten is necessary. He then went on to state that he was concerned with the political risk that FDK could be overturned if delayed since there would be a new school board election next year. Myself and many others were shocked and devastated by this comment since it is the first and only real reason that has been articulated for why this process has to be rushed through despite the board's clear lack of preparation in all areas of this program. We challenged the board to not make a decision that might be politically expedient yet comes at the expense of children currently in their care.
jcb January 23, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Sam Strike, I know you were following up with David Wood about his comments. What has come of that?
Sam Strike (Editor) January 23, 2014 at 09:19 AM
We've been in touch. Article forthcoming. Thanks, Sam
G Morrison January 23, 2014 at 01:09 PM
I definitely want to understand our kindergarten teachers' view of FDK. Please include that.
jcb January 23, 2014 at 01:27 PM
Gale Morrison, I can direct you to the RTSD FDK website, where there is a letter from all kindergarten teachers. The letter is very much in favor of FDK---with emphatic insistence that it is started slowly and carefully and not rushed. Probably the last third emphasizes this point! Feel free to check it out.
G Morrison January 23, 2014 at 01:52 PM
http://www.rtsd.org/cms/lib/PA01000218/Centricity/Domain/815/Kinder%20Teacher%20Statement%201-18-13.pdf
jcb January 23, 2014 at 01:56 PM
Thanks, Gale! Here is an excerpt from the teachers: Furthermore and most importantly, we are concerned that moving too quickly to set up this new program will result in a less than excellent final product. Thereare many unresolved questions and issue.s sunounding this initiative...too many to name here (see attached for only a·partiallist). We fear that pushing too quickly to get something in place just so that we can say we are doing it will compromise the quality ofwhat we are offering our students and families. Recently, there was a message on a sign board in front ofan elementary school that read, "We Al;e Striving For Proficiency." Perhaps a goal such as that is acceptable in some places. Here in Radnor, however, our claim is that we sttive for excellence. It is our strong belief that unless we take the time to work through the myriad complex issues sunounding the idea of full day kindergarten, we will have achieved, at the most, a merely proficient outcome. In the same way that we believe in offering our little ones additional time for learning, we must also take the additional time necessary to create an excellent, high quality and perhaps even unmatched kindergarten program.
Annie Webb January 23, 2014 at 01:56 PM
I don't know who did the yellow highlighting on the link Ms. Morrison posted, but the paragraph beginning "Furthermore, and most importantly.... we ask you not to rush" is the MOST important. Nothing has been done to move the process forward in a thoughtful and reasonable manner.
G Morrison January 26, 2014 at 11:48 AM
We should probably have the kindergarten teachers weigh in again because their view is extremely important and the context of this letter was the delay from 2013 to 2014.

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