O'Connor Confirms Free All-Day Kindergarten To Begin This Fall
May 09, 2016 10:31AM
By Bill Gilman
One of the results of the 2016 Town Meeting held on May 2nd at Tewksbury Memorial High School was the unanimous approval of the FY 2017 School Budget.
Included within the approved budget was $670,000 for full day Kindergarten provided at no cost to parents and families. “The Tewksbury School Committee has actively been searching to reduce fees, such as athletics, clubs, activities, HS parking and yes Kindergarten”, said Dr. John O’Connor Tewksbury Superintendent of Schools.
“We have eliminated or reduced fees over the past few years and now have totally eliminated the $4,000 yearly Kindergarten fee, O’Connor said.
The Tewksbury School Committee is committed to further reducing fees for families in the District over the next few budget cycles.
“Full day Kindergarten, research indicates, provides equal opportunities to all of our earliest learners. In this way we are leveling the playing field”, O’Connor said. A 2005 Policy Brief from West Ed, an educational consulting research nonprofit, indicates the benefits of full day Kindergarten are:
- Contributes to increased school readiness
- Leads to higher academic achievement
- Improves school attendance
- Supports literacy and language development
- Decreases cost by reducing retention and remediation rates
The establishment of full day Kindergarten has been a long-term goal of the Tewksbury School Committee and Dr. John O’Connor. “Thank you to all in the community for your support at the annual town meeting, we appreciate it”, O’Connor said.