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VIBES School Seeks Full-Day Kindergarten

vibes charter school kindergartenMEDFORD, Ore. — A first-year charter school in Medford wants to expand and help younger students get a leg up on their education, but some school board members say they want to see more results before that can happen.

VIBES Charter School, which operates inside Kids Unlimited, will ask the school board to add full-day kindergarten to the school for the 2014-15 school year. VIBES will ask for about 50 kindergarten students, which stays in line with the number of students already in the school in grades 1-3.

The plan would put VIBES an entire year ahead of plans by Oregon lawmakers, who plan to begin funding full-day kindergarten at other public schools beginning in the 2015-16 school year.

Kids Unlimited Director Tom Cole said it was important to get a jump on the expanded kindergarten because it will help those young students be prepared for first grade. He also said the addition of kindergarten would create a broader base of students.

“We have a lot of kids that are currently enrolled in our school that have younger siblings,” Cole said. “We believe it’s important to get a solid jump to early learning.”

Medford School Board member Sally Killen said she wanted to hear more information before making a decision. She said she wants to see Vibes’ reading and math test scores to assess their progress.

“They have only now had a chance to start taking the tests, so until I know how grades 1 through 3 work, I’m hesitant to put any more of our kids into that system yet,” she said.

Monday’s board meeting will only feature a study session on the topic. Killen said there is no timetable for when the board would vote on the plan.