4 in 10 Dist. 220 kindergartners enroll in new full-day class

  • The Barrington Area Unit School District 220 board of education discusses items on their agenda at their meeting Tuesday night in their new chambers at the district's Early Learning Center near Prairie Middle School in Barrington.

      The Barrington Area Unit School District 220 board of education discusses items on their agenda at their meeting Tuesday night in their new chambers at the district's Early Learning Center near Prairie Middle School in Barrington. Doug T. Graham | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted5/20/2015 5:30 AM

Nearly 40 percent of Barrington Area Unit School District 220 kindergarten students have been signed up for the district's new optional full-day program, according to early enrollment numbers Tuesday.

The enrollment numbers, which are not complete, show that around 38 percent of kindergarten students have been signed up for the new program approved by the school board last November.

 

Students in the full-day program, which the district refers to as the "kindergarten enrichment" program, will have an enhanced version of the half-day curriculum as well as gym class every day and music class and art class twice a week. To offset the costs, parents have to pay a fee of no more than $3,500.

Board President Brian Battle said although he was hesitant to comment on such early enrollment numbers, they seemed to be in line with their predictions.

"I think it validates what a lot of the parents were saying, that they wanted the enrichment and were willing to try to offset the cost to get it," Battle said.

Here's a look at the rest of the enrollment numbers:

• Around 26 percent of students were registered for the traditional half-day kindergarten program.

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• Around 20 percent of students were registered for either the Spanish Dual Language program or the Chinese Immersion program.

• Around 16 percent of students were registered for the Sunny Hill Elementary School extended program.

Battle said the number of people who have chosen the half-day program for their children indicates there are a lot of students who would do better in a half-day program.

"I think it reflects the mix of kids," Battle said. "I can tell you of my two kids I would have been 50-50. One would have been a good for full day; one would have been a better half-day."

Linda Klobucher, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said the kindergarten enrollment numbers were up compared to where the district usually is this time of year. So far around 460 students have been enrolled in one of the kindergarten programs. She said the increase in enrollment may be because the district has been proactive in educating parents on their options in the first year of the full-day program.

"I really think the community has done an outstanding job of knocking on neighbors doors, making sure their students are enrolled," Klobucher said. "I will be interested to see what our summer enrollment will be."

Klobucher said there was still a lot of space available at all of the district's kindergarten locations so the district should be fine with getting students enrolled in their home elementary school.

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