The School Committee has voted to approve changing the Wellesley Public School Kindergarten start schedule for the 2015-2016 school year.
Kindergarten classes (as well as grades 1 – 5) will begin on Wednesday, September 2, 2015. However, kindergartners will be dismissed at noon for the first seven days of school (which includes two Wednesdays). The first full day for Kindergarten will be Tuesday, September 15, 2015. (There is no school on Monday, September 14th.)
In the past, the kindergarten start date lagged the rest of the town’s students by several days.
Full-day kindergarten is a fairly new concept in Wellesley, having rolled out in the 2014-2015 school year. When my family moved into town, I remember my surprise that a fancy-pants community like Wellesley hadn’t long ago jumped onto the full-day kindergarten little red wagon. Instead of aligning with the rest of the elementary school grades in town, kindergarten used to operate on a hybrid schedule of full and half days up until April, switching to full days after that.
With the town’s reputation for providing an excellent education, I thought there must be some pedagogy in action behind such a decision. Ahh, I thought, Wellesley must have a pipeline to some new research that proves that full-time kindergarten is a fool’s paradise, a mere attempt to put parents’ selfish needs ahead of those of their fragile five-year olds.
But no. It turned out to be a simple case of money, honey. Shifting to full days year-round had been discussed in the past, alright, but shelved due to cost, among other issues. All issues have been resolved, however, and now Wellesley’s kindergarteners toil away as diligently as the other approximately 85% of Massachusetts kindergarteners.
An informational meeting for parents regarding the kindergarten schedule will be held Wednesday, June 17, from 7pm – 8pm, in the Sprague School Cafeteria.