By Jeff Gallatin
School officials are putting many hard days’ work into implementing the new all-day kindergarten program for the 2013-2014 school year.
“It’s going well; it all starts with making sure it’s working for the children and that you get good people in place,” Terry Krivak, acting superintendent for the North Olmsted school district, said Friday. The school board unanimously approved at its June 19 meeting hiring five additional kindergarten teachers. The hirings double the number of kindergarten teachers for the district, from five to 10.
“It gives us a lot more flexibility in terms of implementing the program,” Krivak said.
He said having the district staff put together an implementation plan also has helped further progress on the new program.
“Having a good template in place has certainly helped the process move along,” he said. “Good people put a lot of time in on that, and it’s paying off for all of us in terms of preparation and getting ready to get the program going.”
Krivak noted that the district also has advertised for bids for additional equipment and supplies for the new program.
“Having the people in place now means they can actually get into the classrooms and get them ready for the start of the school year and the arrival of the students,” he said. “So, we’re getting the materials they will need to do that with.”
He said the kindergarten staff will provide benefits and a good education to the students.
“It’s a well-rounded, versatile group,” he said, noting two of the teachers hired June 19 were introduced at the meeting. One comes from another district, and the other is being moved up from within the existing North Olmsted staff.
“We have some people coming in from outside the district as well as people from within the district,” he said. “They should give the students a great foundation to start their education with the different backgrounds and experiences they have to offer.”
Krivak said district officials are also pleased with how enrollment for the all-day kindergarten has gone.
“We only had one family express a preference for the half-day kindergarten program,” he said. “Everyone else has gone for the all-day kindergarten now that it’s being offered within the district.”
As of Friday, 207 students were enrolled in all-day kindergarten: 75 in Birch, 54 in Butternut and 33 in Spruce.
“That’s a pretty good range among the different schools,” Krivak said. “We’re moving forward will all the different aspects of the plan to have it continue to proceed as smoothly as possible.”
School board members were pleased with how the program is progressing. Board member Linda Cleary said the district staff is doing a good job of utilizing resources to get the program in place in time for the start of school.