Full-day kindergarten not an option now for D.155

2013-10-21T00:00:00Z Full-day kindergarten not an option now for D.155Paul Czapkowicz Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

CALUMET CITY | Finances and full classrooms are preventing Calumet City Elementary District 155 from offering full-day kindergarten, school officials told attendees recently at a School Board meeting.

Concern over the district offering only half-day kindergarten came up during public participation.

"We have discussed this with the School Board for probably the last couple of years," D.155 Superintendent Troy Paraday said.

He said obstacles to offering full-day kindergarten include financial concerns and the fact all classrooms are full at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.

"We would have to either add on or do something else internally in order to make some space over there," Paraday said.

He said full-day kindergarten would likely require the addition of three or more staff members. He said the district would receive no state funding during the first year of full-day kindergarten since general state aid received is based on numbers provided from the previous school year.

Board Secretary Nick Valle said part of the problem the board faces is that it does not know what portion of teacher retirement costs the state will decide the district will have to cover in the future.

Paraday said he could not say if or when the district will offer full-day kindergarten.

In other district news:

Paraday said districtwide enrollment has increased since a a pre-Labor Day report showed 1,180 students.

"Our enrollment right now is mirroring exactly where we were last year at this time," Paraday said.

Enrollment is a little more than 1,200 students.

District 155 consists of Wilson Elementary School, Wentworth Intermediate School and Wentworth Junior High School.

The board established a hearing date of 6 p.m. Dec. 19 to discuss the 2013 tax levy.

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