By Jeff Gallatin
Bay Village’s school board members decided Monday night there will be an all-day kindergarten program beginning in the 2012-13 school year.
Board members unanimously approved a fee schedule of $2,250 for the 2012-13 school year for all-day kindergarten and $2,500 for the following year. It gave Superintendent Clint Keener the decision on setting enrollment, while leaving open the final decision as to where to hold the all-day kindergarten.
Keener said afterwards he was pleased by the decision.
“We’ve had residents indicate to us that this is a program they want for the district so we are putting one in place,” he said.
The fee schedule will cover an estimated 80 percent or more of the costs for implementing the program, with Keener noting the district has the goal of having it largely pay for itself.
Although the final decision on where the all-day kindergarten sessions will be held will be made later, Keener indicated the district is preparing more than one contingency on where to hold it. He said the district architect is preparing plans, should they be needed, on putting modular units at Normandy school while leaving open the ability to add onto the school later. In addition, if the board decides not to utilize Normandy, it can hold the kindergarten sessions at the Glenview Center, which is controlled by the school district.
“By the time parents pay their fees in the winter for the kindergarten sessions, they should know where they will be held,” Keener said. “Passing this gives us the ability to move forward.”
Board members again expressed different views about where to hold the sessions while approving the fee structure and the overall plan to have all-day kindergarten.
Board President Amy Huntley noted that board member Bill Selong voted for the fees and the plan and asked what had prompted to change since he had previous reservations. Selong said the community has indicated clearly that there is a desire for the district to have all-day kindergarten sessions available. He added that the board and district have also indicated a commitment to the concept during months of discussion on the issue.
Keener said the issues has progressed since they discussed it when former Gov. Ted Strickland made implementing all-day kindergarten mandatory. He noted that even after Strickland’s successor John Kasich reversed the mandate, many members of the community still indicated a desire for the program, prompting the district to keep moving forward on the issue.