Sheffield-Sheffield Lake Schools increase all-day kindergarten opportunities

Sheffield Village/Sheffield Lake

By Michele Murphy

Parents of children eligible for kindergarten enrollment this fall in the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake School District will find increased opportunity and encouragement to have them attend all-day kindergarten. At their regular meeting March 27, the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake School Board passed an action making all-day kindergarten available to every student. Until now, the district had capped enrollment.

A number of reasons prompted the move, not the least being the overwhelming support of parents who participated in a survey regarding all-day kindergarten. Conducted during fall conferences, the
survey showed 218 of 221 respondents favored all-day kindergarten.

The proposal presented to the board showed strong evidence that children who attend all-day kindergarten are better prepared academically and social-emotionally for first grade and their school career. Within the report, data showed that kids in the district who attended all-day kindergarten scored higher on midyear phonics/language arts exams than those who did not. The score for all-day kindergarten attendees was 82 compared to 54 for those who did not attend.

Knollwood Principal Gretchen Loper worked with the five kindergarten teachers to develop the proposal. The teachers are Kelly Zana, Kelly Majer, Kara Gaydosh, Heather Kolega and Michelle
Muckleroy.

Loper said the adoption of Common Core in Ohio increased academic rigor at all grade levels. Data in the proposal shows students attending all-day kindergarten demonstrate greater math and reading achievement gains. There are social and emotional benefits as well, all of which contribute to a
student’s school success, according to Loper.

The proposal also included data showing that a commitment to early education can hold costs down later by as much as $3 for every $1 invested in early education. It not only improves the potential for
student achievement, it addresses the dropout rate as well, per the report.

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