Knost to Present Free, Full-Day Kindergarten Plan in the Fall
The Mehlville Superintendent said the program would be funded from the state.
Mehlville Superintendent Eric Knost said he’s prepared to recommend tuition-free, full-day kindergarten for the 2013-2014 school year.
At Thursday’s school board meeting, Knost said he’ll present an execution plan to the board in September.
Implementing free, full-day kindergarten by the 2013-2014 school year requires the board's approval by December for January enrollment.
Parents were concerned the half-day kindergarten option would disappear, but Knost said it would still be available.
“I would like to honor the parents’ interest in the half-day option,” he said. “We’ll probably design it around having a designated exit point after morning lessons.”
When discussing free kindergarten in January, Knost said two schools would not have the classroom space to support full-day kindergarten enrollment. District officials will need to consider alternate spaces for students who would attend Oakville or Trautwein Elementary schools.
Brian Lane, the district’s assistant superintendent for the supervision of schools, studied the potential influx of students the district could see from offering the free program. Out of 940 possible attendees, the district could hold 820 students. After converting existing kindergarten rooms to full-day classes, the district could host 140 more students in its full-day program than it does now, a 54 percent increase.
Knost said the program would be largely funded through the state. When discussing kindergarten at a meeting Jan. 7, he said the district would receive more funding from the state by going to a free, full-day program than it currently does from tuition.
Currently, the district charges tuition for full-day kindergarten, but offers a free half-day program to families. In the 2012-2013 school year, Mehlville will be one of four districts in the state that does not offer free, full-day kindergarten.