Against full-day kindergarten

| 15 Mar 2012 | 12:27

    I would like to express my opposition to the proposed full daykindergarten that is being presented to us, the taxpayers, by the WestMilford Board of Education. I do not believe that it will be as beneficial to the childrenof West Milford as is being said. Kindergarten is an important transitional year and should be kept as is.The amount of time now spent in the classroom is age appropriate. A fullday would include the exact same curriculum as the half day program, as wellas recess, more arts and crafts, lunch, an extra library and gym and resttime, a.k.a. nap time.

    First of all, if the kids require a nap, theday is too long. Secondly, nap time? Are you kidding me? Definitely nothow I want a half a million dollar school board tax increase to be used. How about NO tax increase? The board says "the increase will only be$38 per household," (for the six new teachers' salaries andbenefits)to which I say "only $38 THIS year." What aboutnext year and hereafter? These teachers' salaries will max out at$104,000, causing an increase every year. No way!

    I am a mother of four, soon to be five, and I support education as well asraising our test scores but not at the kindergarten level. How about less"fluff-time" in the older grades and more time to work withthe children? Stop "school-homing" and all the nonsense thekids participate in during school hours. For example, by school-homing, Imean do not spend class time writing letters to Santa. That is a homeactivity and actually none of the school district's business. I am not saying no fun butthere is a way to acknowledge holidays in an academic way without wasting somuch school time while preserving the sacredness of home time and familycelebrations. As they get older, make the children work more and more tobring up test scores and literacy; that is what they are in school for.But I must say,5 and 6years old is not the time for this.

    I do not support full day kindergarten or raised taxes. I am voting NO onthe school budget on April 17.

    Jessica Pierre Hewitt