EAGLE POINT, Ore. — The state of Oregon will require all schools to offer a full-day kindergarten during the 2015-16 school year. But a Southern Oregon school district is starting a year early. A team from Eagle Point school district attended a summit in Salem where they learned from other districts in the state about how to implement the full-day kindergarten.
This is all one year before all public schools will have to make the switch. District officials say they are moving forward early because they have the money in the budget to do so.
During the current three hours of classes, teachers have to fit in subjects like reading and math, plus spend time in the library, computer lab, at recess, PE and lunch or breakfast. In order to fit all of this in they must keep a tight schedule.
State officials say the students need more time to practice, but some more than others. Like many schools in Oregon, about 50% of students starting school aren’t where they should be, with a developmental level of a three or four year old. To help with that deficit, the school district will offer double the learning time with full-day kindergarten during the 2014-15 school year, one year before the rest of the state. It means instructors will have more time to work with students on more subjects.
Eagle Point hired seven new kindergarten teachers. District officials say they had an advantage in hiring quality instructors before the rest of the state begins the full-day kindergarten in 2015.