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I'm writing in support of full-day kindergarten. I have lived in Guilford for just less than five years and have put three children through kindergarten, all in half-day programs.
I have heard/read some of the opposition, which seem to mainly refer to how kindergarten was years ago. They talk about how well our students do in high school and our high graduation rate. I'm thrilled at how well Guilford has done, but what I'm worried about is how well we'll continue to do. The Common Core State Standards, which are being fully implemented this year, come with a very demanding, challenging curriculum. We cannot compare kindergarten to what it was 10 years ago. We cannot even compare it to what it was last year or the year before. It is a different time, and the expectations of these students are huge!
I have a 1st grader and I am absolutely astounded at the amount of work that's expected of her. Every night she has more homework than either of my boys ever did at her age (and that was just two and four years ago!). It's not fair to put our 1st graders into this kind of demanding environment without giving them the proper foundation in kindergarten to prepare them.
Those who think full-day kindergarten is just going to mean extra time for recess and specials could not be more wrong. There is so much to do, so much to learn, and so much to teach that it only makes sense to provide the time. Our own teachers and principals are huge proponents for full-day kindergarten. If we don't listen to them, then to whom do we listen? I encourage your readers to join me in voting "Yes" for full-day kindergarten on April 8.