Salem School to offer full-day 4K for 2021-22 school year

Salem School will offer full-day 4-year-old kindergarten as an option next school year.

The option was recently approved by the School Board, the district announced via news release Thursday.

The “board is thrilled to offer this new option to our community
and families,” said board President Dana Powers. “This addition continues our efforts to allow families the freedom to choose what type of
programming best meets their child’s needs.”

Salem’s Four Day Full-Day 4K will meet Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for the full day.

Current 4K at the school is all half-day.

The move was part of an effort to support district families by offering adtional educational options, said Connie Valenza, district administrator.

“If there is one thing we have seen in supporting our families through this pandemic, it is that our families need and want choices,” Valenza said in an email to “Our families were so supportive of our efforts to open our schools this year and we have heard the financial struggles they continue to face.”

The district will not have to add staff, Valenza said.   A portion of recent federal funding directed towards schools will be put towards this initiative as the district evaluates the impact on the achievement of students.

“We have chosen to focus a part of our funding on making sure our students get off to a great start and the academic achievement gap does not develop, while working hard to close it at the higher grade levels,” Valenza said.

Valenza said she has positive experience with all-day 4K at a previous district where she was superintendent for 8 years.

“The response on the part of the community was overwhelming,” Valenza said. “One of the most exciting aspects was an expanded partnership with our local senior citizens.  They loved the interaction with our students and our students loved showing off their newly developed skills.  We were able to engage much more with our community as our students had the full day to explore.  Our students explored the local farming community and engaged in hands-on activities including gardening and exploring nature.  It is difficult to do this in a half day, by the time the bus drops students off, they get settled in, it is no time at all before the busses return and students are packing up their things to return home or to a daycare setting.”

There will be a limited number of full-day slots, Valenza said. The district will reach out to families with children already enrolled in 4K for 2021-22 to see what is their preference.


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