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Policy Report — Making the Most of Kindergarten May 8, 2008

Posted by kindergartenwatch in Early Learning, Funding.
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If you’re interested in some research on the benefits vs. costs of all-day kindergarten, consider reviewing the Making the Most of Kindergarten: Present Trends and Future Issues in the Provision of Full-day Programs report.

The policy report was produced by the National Institute for Early Education Research, and it discusses trends, trade-offs of benefits vs. costs, and identifies areas where more research is needed. The report was completed in 2005, so some data may be outdated, but the general findings are enlightening.

One takeaway is how regions and states vary in terms of funding and access. You can see how Washington State stacks up against other states, in terms of access and funding. For example, some states provide access to full-day kindergarten for all families, and some fund full-day kindergarten at a rate higher than half-day kindergarten.

In most districts in Washington State, all students are only funded at .5 of an FTE, regardless of whether they’re in full-day or half-day. The state is starting to phase in full-day for some students in some districts, but other districts are still funded for half-day only. In many districts, most parents help make up the difference, typically paying a few hundred dollars a month.

The report includes some recommendations, including the importance of considering full-day programs, while weighing the benefits against costs. The report also suggests that districts should be strategic when implementing full-day kindergarten to ensure all students get maximum benefits. The report also suggests that more research is needed.

Open assignment period for Seattle schools May 3, 2008

Posted by kindergartenwatch in School Districts.
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The open assignment period for Seattle schools began on May 1, according to the Seattle Public Schools Web site.

Open enrollment was held earlier this year, and this month’s open assignment period is for requesting changes to assignments. Refer to the Enrollment Services section and the Enrollment Guide page on the district’s site for more details.

For information on enrollment data and discussions about student assignments, see the Assignment Plan Web site.