Full-day kindergarten taxes some Portage schools

2012-07-31T19:30:00Z Full-day kindergarten taxes some Portage schoolsBy Joyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | At least two elementary schools won't be able to house the increased number of students participating in Portage Township Schools' first year of full-day kindergarten.

Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia told the School Board authorities don't have definitive enrollment numbers for kindergarten but it appears enrollment will be higher than anticipated.

That will mean some incoming kindergartners likely won't have class at their home school.

Frataccia said overflow students in the Central Elementary School district will be going to Myers Elementary School, and overflow from Saylor Elementary School will go to South Haven Elementary School.

That had at least one parent frustrated.

Paul Jarrell has a special-needs son attending Saylor. His 5-year-old daughter will attend kindergarten at South Haven.

"There's got to be some way to move things around," he told the School Board, saying children at two schools will be difficult for his family to manage. "It feels like we have to choose between this child and that child."

Frataccia said splitting up families is a concern and authorities are looking at the issue.

"We don't like the idea," Frataccia said. He said the older child could move to the other school, but that would depend on space available.

"If it can be worked out, it will," Frataccia told Jarrell.

Frataccia also told the board negotiations are continuing with bus drivers who will lose midday routes.

He also told the board school district officials have been told the state will reimburse the district about $2,400 per kindergarten student.

"That is not enough to pay for it. It will still cost the district something, but not as much as before," Frataccia said.

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