Brandywine mulls kindergarten change

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brandywine’s half-day developmental kindergarten program may go to full day in the fall.

Brandywine Superintendent John Jarpe discussed the possible change with the district’s board of education during Monday’s regular meeting.

The change boils down to state funding.

In Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget, only full-day programs would receive full state aid.

“Monetarily, we need to look at whether we can really afford to offer a half-day program,” Jarpe said.

About 30 students are enrolled in developmental kindergarten, with half attending in the morning and half in the afternoon.

Developmental kindergarten is designed to give those who need extra time to grow and mature before transitioning into Brandywine’s regular, full-day kindergarten program.

Jarpe said the school district isn’t going to stop offering developmental kindergarten, it is just looking at moving it to full day.

Jarpe hopes to have a decision made by April.

“We want to be able to state to the parents at registration time which direction we want to go, but that depends on how many parents come that have children in that age range,” said Jarpe, who does not anticipate hiring new staff if the district implements full-day developmental kindergarten.