All-Day Kindergarten at Lakota
Frequently Asked Questions
How long has Lakota been offering all-day kindergarten?
Next school year will be the third year for Lakota’s all-day kindergarten option. We began this pilot project with two tuition-based classrooms per school. For the current school year, a new state funding model allowed us to expand to four classrooms per school and offer the option tuition-free using a lottery system.
What will this year’s all-day kindergarten program look like?
We are excited to be able to continue this year’s tuition-free model into the 2016-2017 school year. The option will be identical to this year’s, accommodating up to 100 students per school.
How does the lottery system work?
After the application deadline, students will be selected randomly by lottery. Students will not be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.
Is the half-day kindergarten option still available?
Yes. Lakota will also continue to offer its half-day, tuition-free option for parents who prefer it. Students who are not selected in the lottery will be placed on a wait list and automatically enrolled in half-day kindergarten at the school in their attendance zone.
Will Lakota consider expanding the all-day option to serve more students?
This option is still very young and it’s premature to determine its exact impact on students. Each year, we will evaluate the data to learn more about its impact and consider what value there is in continuing or expanding it. Part of that includes an evaluation of how much room there is to grow in our current buildings.
How does funding impact any potential expansion?
Funding is the main driver of our decision. The same state funding formula that allowed Lakota to offer tuition-free all-day kindergarten this year has changed yet again. This means a higher cost for Lakota to offer the same option to the same number of students next year.
Despite the higher cost, we are maintaining current levels next school year. But to expand to accommodate more sections of students would require even more staffing additions and significant costs. A balanced budget is critical to the financial health of this district and for that reason, it is not possible to add another costly option without taking another away.
What other considerations impact programming decisions?
Every year, we take a very close look at all programming options for grades K-12. The district’s current academic spending priorities remain focused on the levy commitments to support more advanced technology in all classrooms, at all grade levels, and more modernized secondary course offerings. This includes a new series of programming courses along with introducing three new AP courses at both high schools.
The levy has also helped us to increase art, music and PE in the younger grades and provide critical supports like academic coaches to help direct the different enrichment and intervention students need at all different stages of learning.