Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in a special session September 26, 2005, at 7:00 p.m. at the Helman School Library. Present were:
Heidi Parker ) Chair
Ruth Alexander )
Amy Amrhein ) Board Members
Mat Marr )
Amy Patton )
Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent
Pam Lucas, Business Manager
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m. by Chair Parker.
II. Roll Check
A roll of the board was taken and all members were present.
III. Discuss Kindergarten Program
Superintendent Di Chiro explained that the history of the kindergarten program in Ashland reflects the history of the kindergarten program in Oregon. Kindergarten students generate funds at half-time levels. Kindergarten students attend school half-day, and kindergarten teachers are half-time employees.
Kindergarten teachers from each elementary school briefly reviewed their programs.
The following public input was received.
Some kindergarten students had a longer day in pre-school, and feel our kindergarten program is a “step-back.”
Kindergarten home visits could be included in a longer day and still meet state requirements for hours.
Longer day allows for educational differences in children – some need more time to explore, observe, etc.
Provide time for kindergarten teachers to meet and plan.
Support staff needed to support kindergarten students’ educational needs.
If kindergarten teachers were full-time, and students were not, kindergarten teachers could support first graders.
If we feel the longer day is best, we should offer it for all kindergarten students.
Are there possibilities of “parent-ext. curriculum” that can be used at home?
If the day is extended, would the time be eaten up by lunch/recess, etc.
Lunchtime can be a learning experience as well.
60% of U.S. has extended or full day kindergarten.
Don’t teach first grade in kindergarten, use extra time to extend kindergarten curriculum.
Longer hours in kindergarten equal higher student achievement.
Kindergarten has changed – more time for the curriculum.
Progressive kindergarten schedule – start with half day, then extend over time.
Lower income students benefit from extended day.
Are all kindergarten students ready for a full day kindergarten? Do all families want this for their children?
Should we offer a menu of choices in terms of length of day?
K/1 has been studied and shown to be effective for both groups.
Extending the day for selected students has been shown to work locally.
Kindergarten provides a strong foundation for future academic growth.
If additional hours are most important, would we be willing to have larger class size to accommodate a longer day?
Can levy funds support a longer day?
Why didn’t we plan better for this year with demographic projections?
K/1 could be an option if kindergarten teachers were full time.
K-5 at Lincoln next year? Can we maintain E-occupancy without extensive renovations? Should programs move to Lincoln this year to provide space at elementary schools?
Should we go back to contracting with SOU for kindergarten program?
Extend kindergarten day for students on a rotating basis.
After school care available through private funds.
District program must be sustainable – can we extend kindergarten day without damage to other programs?
Can funds from a Lincoln lease be used to pay for extending the kindergarten day?
Kindergarten programs need support from the rest of the school that they would not get if they were in another location.
The rest of the school community benefits from having the K-8 on campus.
If the kindergarten day was extended past regular dismissal, there may be logistical issues.
Will we have room next year due to demographic changes?
Would kindergartens be well served at AMS?
Funding – how could we fund a longer day? How much money do we need? (Title I, tuition)
Extended day for selected kids.
Progressive kindergarten schedule may cause logistical problems.
Higher SES can elect private school because they have the finances to do so.
5-day program/shorter day changes the experience.
Longer day may assist families with childcare.
Do we have room currently to extend the kindergarten day?
How can teachers manage their program if kids were on different schedules?
Best scenario includes good transitions, sensitive to what works for 5 year olds.
Do kids melt down after 1 ½ to 3 hours?
Extra time allows for smoother, kinder transitions.
This month, some children turn 5 in kindergarten, and some may turn 6. There is a developmental difference.
Kids like to stay longer to explore their environment after dismissal.
Private funding can be used without hurting state funds.
Department of Ed funding – bill killed. All agree needed, no money attached.
Literacy support to first graders from kindergarten teachers.
Blended K/1 classroom - smaller first grade class. Kindergarten goes home early?
Solve bigger picture, K-5 community service at Lincoln, creative alternatives.
Contract with SOU, afternoon program, arts connection.
SOU as remote program.
Rotate kids with longer hours.
After-care at Helman.
Demographic projections. Space next year?
Kids lab at each site?
Portable, additional space on site.
Move 5th graders to Middle School.
Long-term funding program perm.
Planning takes full year.
Teachers get more than .75 FTE.
4 day 3 ¼ not more expensive than 5 day.
Parent involved teaching – home learning.
After school programs (Y-bus).
Rent kindergarten rooms to YMCA, etc.
Return to paid home visits.
ASF, other private donors (scholarship)
Rent from Lincoln Lease – more room.
Private Funding – Portland, Bend option
Title I money – Medford
Some full-time available with existing space (not all day).
Progressive program that increases hours throughout the year.
Offer full-day, parents can opt out of afternoon.
Lots of great ideas – need to look at budget as a whole.
Levy funding non-classroom programs.
Committee to research – expand hours in January.
Help overall budget with new.
Following Board discussion, Director Marr moved that the Board appoint an open kindergarten options committee to recommend possible changes to the kindergarten program, and that any recommendations for changes for this year will be made by or before the December board meeting, and the committee will include Kindergarten teachers, staff, parents, community members. Director Amrhein seconded.
Director Marr amended his motion to say that at our next regular meeting we will appoint a steering committee that will facilitate the work of the group. Following brief discussion, Director Marr withdrew his amendment.
In discussion, the Board agreed that the committee should look at this year and next year even if they are different. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board scheduled a work session to be held on October 4, 2005, from Noon to 2:00 p.m. in the District Board Room to discuss board goals.
The Board scheduled a Key Communicators meeting to be held October 24 at 7:00 p.m. with the location to be determined.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:13 p.m.
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary