With kids (and parents) eager for school to start again, this year marks the beginning of the free all-day kindergarten program at the eight White Bear Lake area elementary schools. For nearly a decade, the district has considered all-day kindergarten as a way to help students thrive in their education. “There has been a significant amount of planning that has gone into putting this initiative together,” says school board member Cathy Storey.
The all-day kindergarten option was approved by the school board in March, and aligns with the district’s Strategic Plan Goal for all students to reach proficiency in reading and math by fourth grade. Making all-day kindergarten free for all families ensures it is available to everyone.
When parents register their children for kindergarten, they now can choose between full-day and half-day options. Both options will have low class sizes, ranging from 17 to 21 students, and innovative programming; the all-day program will have greater access to specialists teaching music, media, physical education and world languages.