Kindergarten Families: Please watch this video from Dr. Stacey Stoudt
This communication comes to you as a follow up to the information that was shared in our reopening school questionnaire that you received yesterday afternoon. The district decision to move to half-day for our youngest learners was made late in the week after hearing from our health professionals, Kindergarten teachers, parents, and elementary leaders about concern over an incoming Kindergarten student’s ability to emotionally and physically handle all that will be required in a classroom during this pandemic. Our school board leadership is also in support of this shift to create the most developmentally appropriate approach to Kindergarten as possible.
As communicated at the board meeting, our plan continues to be fluid so that we can make modifications to better enhance the safety of students and staff, as well as to make the learning experience for our youngest learners a positive one.
We believe that a half-day Kindergarten offering during this pandemic is a more developmentally appropriate start to a challenging first year in school. The emotional needs of our learners can be more readily addressed through very small class sizes. In this half-day model, the Wilson Kindergarten academic program will remain intact. Due to the very social nature of Kindergarten and limitations placed on socializing for health reasons, these aspects would not be part of the scheduled day. The full-day components not included in the schedule would be playtime/free-choice time, 2 recesses, a full 40-minute special, and lunch (however grab and go lunch would be offered). Social distancing could be maintained for shorter periods and wearing a mask full time is reduced to a half-day. If the health situation warranted a change to a hybrid model for elementary, Kindergarten students would not need to work virtually because they would still attend school each day.
Please know that the decision to shift to half-day for Kindergarten was intended to provide the best environment for our youngest students. We acknowledge the challenges to families presented by decisions made in this ever-changing health environment.
Our district team is committed to doing our best to inform families as changes occur. In hindsight, we realize that a separate communication to Kindergarten families should have been sent prior to the questionnaire with specific information about why the decision for half-day Kindergarten for 2020-21 was made.
We look forward to a continued partnership with our community; working together to get through these challenging times.
Dr. Stacey Stoudt, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary