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Full-Day K in Cranston Gets State Funding Boost

The Briggs Building on Park Avenue — home to the Cranston Public Schools administrative offices. (Photo: Mark Schieldrop)
The Briggs Building on Park Avenue — home to the Cranston Public Schools administrative offices. (Photo: Mark Schieldrop)
Full-day kindergarten could be coming to some Cranston schools as early as next fall thanks to a state funding boost to the tune of $99,072.

The Rhode Island Department of Education announced the award today.

The money was made available through the Full-Day Kindergarten Accessibility Act, a law passed in 2012 by the state legislature.

Sen. Hannah M. Gallo, the bill's sponsor in the Senate, said "There is a wealth of data about the importance of early educational opportunities such as those provided through full-day kindergarten. It helps to close achievement gaps and improve academic success throughout students’ schooling. I am grateful to Commissioner Gist and the Department of Education for their support for this program."

Cranston got the most money out of the four districts getting funding. The others are Exeter-West Greenwich, getting $45,000; Glocester, getting $33,000; and Woonsocket, which will receive $72,928.

According to a release, A team from RIDE reviewed all applications for funding and awarded the funds based on the quality of the plan submitted, the quality of existing programming in the district, the capacity to start full-day kindergarten, the quality of key personnel, and the cost proposal, among other factors.

The four districts will use their funds to offset the one-time start-up costs of beginning a full-day kindergarten program, including such expenses as facilities upgrades, purchase of books and furniture, and curriculum development. The four districts receiving the funds will commit to maintaining the full-day kindergarten programs for at least five school years.

At present, 22 school districts in Rhode Island (plus all 8 charter public schools and state-operated schools with elementary-school grades) offer universal full-day kindergarten (i.e., for all kindergarten students in the school or district). There are 8 districts that offer no full-day kindergarten (including Cranston, Exeter-West Greenwich, and Glocester) and 5 districts (including Woonsocket) that offer only limited full-day kindergarten.

We'll post an update with reaction from local school officials as well as a more in-depth look at efforts to establish full-day K in Cranston soon. Check back later.

Rod Carri December 16, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Three hours of Kindergarten is a joke! What took so long to try to go to full time?
millerheaton December 16, 2013 at 04:52 PM
They get 3 hours now? When my 3rd and 4th graders were in K, it was 12 - 2:30. Poor things, the teacher would have to wrap up half their snack because they ran out of time to eat it. There is no recess either!
Chris Paplauskas December 16, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Sooner the better, 1/2 day Kindergarten really short changes the students. The little ones deserve a full day it helps in their development and social skills.
Jill Gelinas December 17, 2013 at 09:26 AM
You can only imagine my disgust when we recently moved to Rhode Island and found out it was half day Kindergarten. I had planned on going back to work especially since the cost of living is much higher here. The cost of our rent is higher then our mortgage in Tennessee. To work I have to put 2 children in daycare which if financially impossible for us! We are now having to get government benefits. Unfortunately we make about 150 dollars more a month to get childcare benefits. Maybe someone else will benefit from full day kindergarten. How awful for the teachers as well. They have to cram a full days curriculum into 2 hours with two sets of students. They don't have time to do anything fun. My daughter who loved preschool does not enjoy kindergarten. How sad.

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