Maple Grove Primary to add full-day kindergarten

B.G. pilot program will charge $2,900 tuition

By Howard Buck, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: July 25, 2011, 8:18 PM

 

Battle Ground Public Schools will launch a pilot full-day, paid-tuition kindergarten program this school year for 48 students, becoming the latest Clark County district to offer extended instruction.

Two full-day classes at Maple Grove Primary School will serve 24 students each.

Tuition will be $2,900 for the 2011-12 year, or $300 per month ($200 for June 2012).

Teachers Sue Hill and Katie Paulson will lead the two full-day courses at Maple Grove, at 610A S.E. Eaton Blvd. (formerly 199th Street).

Traditional half-day kindergarten also will continue at the school.

If successful, the pilot program could expand to other Battle Ground schools.

“Sue and Katie are both excellent teachers. We’re looking forward to having the students all day,” Maple Grove Principal Barbara Baird said in a statement issued by the district Monday. “We think the students will be socially and academically enriched and prepared to move on to first grade.”

Maple Grove was chosen for the pilot because of available space, the district said.

Jill Smith, district teaching and learning department leader, said “we expect to fill all the slots,” the district said.

If children living in the Maple Grove attendance area do not use all 48 slots, enrollment would open to students elsewhere in the Battle Ground district, with families required to provide their own daily transportation.

The school day for all of Maple Grove Primary will be 9:10 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. The first day of school is Sept. 7.

The Maple Grove main office, at 360-885-6750, is closed until Aug. 15. Until then, enrollment inquiries may be made to Diane Mason in the Learning Support Programs office, 360-885-6592.

Battle Ground district leaders cite research that shows full-day kindergarten better prepares young pupils to master primary grade reading and math skills, and lessens the need for future remedial work.

Starting last school year, Evergreen Public Schools switched to free, full-day kindergarten for pupils. The district cited improved student performance at Orchards Elementary, where a state-funded pilot program was operated.

Vancouver Public Schools offers free, full-day kindergarten (backed by state funds) at six elementary schools, and paid-tuition, full-day programs (at an identical $2,900 rate) at four other schools.

The Camas School District had planned to add paid-tuition, full-day kindergarten for the 2010-11 school year. But it shelved the idea in light of budget cuts and tepid response from parents who faced a $5,000 tuition charge.

Howard Buck: 360-735-4515 or howard.buck@columbian.com.