ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - Parents and educators gathered Wednesday night in the auditorium of Central Valley Academy High School to discuss the impending changes coming to CVA Pre- kindergarteners, including going from half a school day to a full day of school.
Central Valley School District received a grant from the state giving the Pre-K the ability to go from a half day to a full day. The school administration believes children who attend a full-day of Pre-K will be better prepared academically than their peers that do not attend. The full day of school does not mean a more rigorous schedule for the kids, the administration said, but gives teachers more time to teach and gives students more of an opportunity to learn at their own pace.
The Assistant Superintendent for CVA believes the full day offers children more of a well-rounded experience, " All research points to full day program in Pre-K advancing students quicker, giving sounder foundation to education, " Cindy Stocker said, "They'll achieve a quicker and better and be more successful so there's nothing that says not to do it."
Although the school year is almost half over, the grant needs to be used this year. Students who attend both Barringer and Fisher Pre-K programs will be subject to the new schedule, although the school will work with parents who wish to keep their kids in school for a half day.
The grant also includes breakfast and lunch for the three to four year old children, and transportation will be provided. The transportation schedule and route is still in its planning stages, creating fear among some parents.
Sarah Dennis, from Ilion, and a parent of a four year old said she believes it's too early for her child to be on a bus by himself, especially with much older children, " My main concern and what I'm confused on is transportation. I don't mind him going all day to school, that's great, but they aren't organized with the transportation and I have a fear of my child being on the bus with all the older kids."
The full-day Pre-K classes will operate under the existing state regulations setting a maximum of 18 students in a class. Although class sizes will not increase, the Assistant Superintendent did say they plan to hire more teachers.
The state has instructed to delay the beginning of the full day of Pre-K until the money is officially released.