The School District 304 Board of Education heard a presentation Monday from Director of Curriculum and Instruction Andrew Barrett, who headed the committee that is studying the options.
The four options generally were to keep the present half day, go to a full day every day, go to a full day with parents having the option of a half day, or going to a tuition-based full-day system.
The cost will be about $350,000 a year more than what's spent now, but full-day kindergarten will have benefits that far outweigh other options — including the present half-day kindergarten and supplemental programs offered today.
Initial costs would be for a teacher, teacher's assistant, additional bus routes and one-time start-up costs — for desks, moving and other materials — of about $13,000 per school.
One of the arguments in favor of full-day kindergarten is the advent of Common Core standards that will initiate more-rigorous academic focus at every grade level.
“Our kindergarten students don’t just have to change. Everybody has to change," Barrett said. "That’s why there’s an opportunity now."
About 75 percent of schools across the country have made the change to full-day kindergarten. St. Charles, Kaneland, Batavia, Oswego, Indian Prairie, Wheaton and West Aurora already have made the shift.
Full-day kindergarten is equitable, supports academic development, addresses parent
inquiries, supports the neighborhood model for local schools and provides true prerequisite for our unit district, Barrett said.
"It's the best opportunity to support all our kids, the academic rigors, the social-emotional learning, and it has a commitment to equity in it," Barrett said.