It is not clear whether Barrington officials will offer the full-day program this year or at some other point in the future, although school administrators have said that the ongoing move to the Common Core curriculum will require more instructional time than the current half-day kindergarten program allows for.
The shift to a full-day program had already garnered 134 signatures as of early Tuesday morning. Some of the people signing the petition also offered reasons for their support: One person wrote “Anything for my kids,” while another wrote “We need full day for our children to meet the competencies required of them. This cannot be done in a less than 3-hour school day.”
The petition offers about seven paragraphs of information supporting the move to a full-day program, including “Full-day kindergarten students experience greater gains in academics,” and “Full-day kindergarten experience greater gains in social development,” and “Most Rhode Island school districts offer full-day k.” According to the petition, Barrington is one of a handful of districts, including Coventry, Cranston, Exeter-West Greenwich, Glocester, Johnston, Scituate and Tiverton, that does not offer full-day kindergarten. (Portsmouth recently decided to move to full-day kindergarten this fall.)
“The case for full-day kindergarten is strong and so is the voice of our community. Please sign our petition in support of full-day kindergarten in Barrington today,” stated the petition.
Barrington school officials initially put a $144,000 placeholder in the proposed budget that was earmarked for the creation of a full-day kindergarten program. But recently, officials said the estimate to start the full-day program was closer to $633,000. That increase has shed doubt upon whether officials will bring the full-day program to Barrington schools this fall or at some other point in the future.
The petition can be found at https://www.change.org/petitions/support-full-day-kindergarten-in-barrington-ri