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Petition for Delayed Implementation of Full-Day Kindergarten Circulating in Radnor

Radnor Township School District plans on implementing full-day kindergarten in its three elementary schools starting in September.

Radnor Township School District plans on implementing full-day kindergarten in its three elementary schools starting in September.

But not everyone is supportive of the initiative starting next year.

A petition is circulating that opposes the immediate implementation of full-day kindergarten in 2014 – 2015. It reads:

**Full Day is Mandatory (some of us prefer half day kindergarten for our child) 

** IES: An entire grade will be assigned to detached modular building; whole school population will be affected for lunch schedules, assemblies, and much more.

 **WES: Three classes will be added to an already over-capacity school; continued use of outdated modular buildings; decreased classroom square footage and shared learning spaces for support learning; specials classes taught in inadequate and inappropriate spaces; unacceptable changes to transportation, lunch schedules, and after-school activities; and much more.

 **RES: Classroom sizes will increase;  decreased open space in the pod areas, the loss of cafeteria space for after-school programming, and much more.

 **Concern that the immediate implementation of FDK may pull resources and administrative focus away from other RTSD priorities.   

G Morrison January 06, 2014 at 10:51 AM
It's very important that everyone especially the board and administration reads the parent signer comments at the petition. Many parents support FDK but not for a 2014 start with inadequate facilities, too high class sizes and overcrowded conditions especially at WES. The push to FDK in 2014 is hogging district time and money that needs to focus immediately on getting a *GOOD* HR director in place, the promised STEM coordinator in place, overhauling our math program especially K-5's textbooks and overhauling guidance at RHS, among other things. It's vital that Radnor get focused back on academic excellence for all grades and all students.
NRadnor January 10, 2014 at 02:06 PM
equally as important...update the buildings. radnor has 5 schools, three are beautiful, 2 are in not great condition (regardless of FDK). The admin building is like a haunted house. If we have 'all this money' so much that we don't need to raise taxes, fix up our assets. Just like we would fix up our own home. neibghoring districts have modern schools, we have 3 marriots and 2 motel 6's.
Annie Webb January 11, 2014 at 01:11 PM
Everyone needs to know what this will do to the budget and our taxes. Please attend the next school board meeting and ask about the future projected budget DEFICITS due to FDK. Deficit means either your taxes will go up or programs will be cut. Do we really want to cut other RTSD programs to fund FDK? I certainly don't.
Frank January 12, 2014 at 10:39 PM
Why not the same blank check we just wrote for open space? Since when are people interested in details?
Brendan McGowan January 23, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Last 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.

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