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Press Release: February 7, 2003
For Immediate Publication

We're Ready For You! - Full-Day Kindergarten District-Wide

It is the belief of the Enumclaw School District that by implementing a full-day kindergarten program for ALL students will forever change how our system does business.

Next fall, the Enumclaw School District will become one of a very few districts in Washington State to offer a full-day Kindergarten program to all students. Currently, state funding enables schools districts to offer half-day kindergarten programs.

Many school districts, including Enumclaw, offer full day kindergarten experiences for students and their families who wish to pay for this extended learning time. We believe all students should benefit from the rich learning experience of a full-day kindergarten program. The district will use Initiative 728 funds to support additional staffing required to make this extended learning time available for all students. Superintendent Art Jarvis is thrilled for this new opportunity for kids. "This is obviously a major investment in our kindergarten children, and it is thrilling to be able to take this step. We recognize that the ultimate success of every one of these children is founded in assuring them a successful start."

We believe that there currently exists an untapped potential in our current half-day structure. Having all kindergarten students attend school all day will have a compounding effect on their education throughout their entire experience in the Enumclaw School District. "Interestingly enough, more than half of the kindergartners in the US are in full day kindergarten, and the evidence is clear that it works very well for the children. In Washington, however, it is unusual to offer full-day because the funding hasn't provided by the state for more than half day. We made this commitment because we know that success at this level literally ensures success throughout their schooling years," quotes Art Jarvis. This extended experience for our five year olds will also better allow staff the time to respect the learning processes of each student and help them craft learning experiences so students can reach their fullest potential.

The research on the academic and social benefits for children in a full-day kindergarten is overwhelmingly positive. Children in full-day kindergarten:

  • Exhibit more independent learning, classroom involvement productivity in working with peers and reflectiveness
  • Outperform children in half-day programs on all measure of language arts/literacy and several measures of mathematics
  • Experience a greater number of positive social interactions
  • Have higher levels of school attendance
  • Do not experience higher levels of fatigue than children in half-day programs

Go to the following website, http://ericeece.org/faq/fullday.html, for more research information on all-day kindergarten.

In addition, children in full-day kindergarten are more successful with literacy instruction in first grade and are retained less often that their half-day peer. Assistant Superintendent Mike Nelson states, "As a former half-day kindergarten teacher, I am so excited that the all-day program will allow our staff the instructional time to implement literacy experiences that we know children need when becoming readers and writers!"

The kindergarten teaching staff will be attending several staff development opportunities this spring including site visitations to existing all-day programs. A week-long summer institute for staff will be held as well as continued instructional support next year. "We believe the professional development opportunities that are planned for our kindergarten teachers are incredible! These opportunities will allow our kindergarten teaching staff to build a district-wide team that focuses on the best instructional practices for our kindergarten students."

The following is a list of school-based parent informational meetings about kindergarten in the Enumclaw School District.

February 26 6:30 Black Diamond Elementary
February 26 6:30 Westwood Elementary
February 27 6:30 Sunrise Elementary
February 27 6:30 Kibler Elementary


For more information contact Mike Nelson, Chris Beals, or Jill Burnes at 360.802.7109.