Full Day Kindergarten Coming to Avondale in Next Year

Full Day Kindergarten coming to Avondale.

Amid the numerous changes going on in public education, the latest addition is a welcome one for many parents: full day kindergarten.

The Avondale School Board approved the move to full day kindergarten at its February 6th meeting, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. Rochester Community Schools, among others, will also switch to a full day format then.

What’s the reasoning behind it?

Full day kindergarten is a long time coming but the impetus to add extended hours now is two-fold. First, the State of Michigan has indicated that school districts that do not convert to a full-day kindergarten system for 2012-2013 will receive less school aid money.

Second, there is an increased volume and depth of information that even our youngest students must absorb, and they can’t do it in half a day. Kindergarten has evolved from a play-based curriculum to an academic one, while still retaining some opportunities for play-based learning.

Still, the expectations for kindergarteners has expanded and students are taught in a literary rich environment that includes phonics, fluency (recognizing common words by sight), writing, science, math, social studies, social/personal skills, motor skills and fine arts.

But how about those cranky 4, 5 and 6-year olds?

Don’t fret. Full day kindergarten does provide opportunities for rest. Here’s a sample day in the life of a kindergarten student and his/her teacher:

  • Welcome the class with general information on the calendar, weather and word families;
  • Hold a writer’s workshop with independent writing and group sharing;
  • Move on to literacy centers with a focus on reading, word work and recognition and looking at and reading books;
  • Move on to snack time and purposeful play;
  • Then to writer’s workshop, sharing and lunch. Whew!
  • Quiet choice and story time follow lunch;
  • Then comes math, a special such as art, followed by science or social studies centers.
  • The day ends with clean-up and routine closing of the day activities.     

While some parents will miss spending the extra half day with their child, the majority of parents I have talked to are supportive of full day kindergarten and believe it makes sense as the U.S. continues to focus on the importance of education in sustaining a viable economy and a productive workforce.  

Do you live in Avondale or want to participate in schools of choice for kindergarten in the Avondale district? Kindergarten Enrollment Nights for Avondale will take place in April and information will be provided at a later date. Direct questions about kindergarten enrollment to the Avondale Enrollment Office at 248-537-6039. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Linda P March 20, 2012 at 10:29 AM
While I support an all day kindergarten plan one has to challenge school districts and ask.."why if it's so good are you just doing it now....and why do all Michigan school districts seem to be instantly enlightened about all day kindergarten.". The sad answer is that's for the schools it's really only about da money. They have may wax on about the benefits....but it's really a cover for lost revenue. Must have been nice getting paid the full freight for a full day when they only provided half days.
Peoplearenuts March 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM
You are right, Linda, Since the state has finally wised up and is only going to pay half for half day students, the districts are spinning this like it was their idea. "For the kids" is a phrase that just gags me. Man up and tell it like it is - if the district does not have full day kindergarten, they are not getting full funding per student from the state.
Joshua Raymond March 20, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Dr. Heitsch, great to have you blogging on Patch! I hope to see more of your posts. Some of us believe half-day kindergarten should be optional. In my family's case, it is about academics. Our current kindergartner attends RCS kindergarten in the afternoon, but the rest of the day allows us to provide a curriculum differentiated to her actual academic level. Children enter kindergarten with vastly different academic levels. Some are not ready for kindergarten while others are academically beyond kindergarten but parents may value the 'introduction to school' that kindergarten provides. What does Avondale Schools do to provide academically aligned education for the kindergartners that are reading or doing math at first grade or higher level? What changes will be made with full day kindergarten to accommodate the kids whose parents are currently supplementing at home?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »