Full Day Kindergarten in Mokena 159 is Coming Back

The Mokena School District 159 board gave thumbs up to bringing back a full-day kindergarten class to Mokena Elementary for the 2014-2015 school year.

Parents living within the Mokena School District 159 boundaries gave a round of applause to board members after they voted in favor of bringing back full-day kindergarten starting the next school year.

The measure was passed without any votes against, and without additional discussion. Board members discussed increasing kindergarten to all day during the December meeting.

“As part of our initiative to reinvest in our schools and community, and obviously knowing the importance of having full day kindergarten and early intervention, we decided to recommend to the board to bring it back,” said D159 Superintendent Omar Castillo after the meeting. “We felt that would be a benefit to all of our students and community to bring it back.”

Mokena Elementary has the facility space and furnishings to engage students in classes throughout a full day, Castillo said. The district will be bringing on more teachers, depending on how many students are enrolled for the 2014-2015 year, he said.

“We don’t foresee having a problem getting highly qualified teachers for our students,” Castillo said.

Now with the full day approved, the district will send out registration information to the community to see what the class size will be. Castillo anticipates it will be greater than previous years.

“I think there are parents who are seeking the full day program, and opted out to private facilities and parochial schools due to us not having it,” he said. “This is one of the continuing changes people will see as we move forward in District 159 to bring programs back that are valuable to our community and kids.”

Budget discussions have yet to begin for the 2014-2015 school year, and as of Wednesday night, Castillo said it was unclear how the full day of kindergarten will affect the district’s tax levy.

“It’s a little to early to tell,” he said.

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R.W.Voter January 17, 2014 at 08:51 AM
Sounds like taxpayer funded day care to me, thank you
Mike January 17, 2014 at 10:24 AM
Mike January 17, 2014 at 10:26 AM
Not a fan of wild public school spending, but all day Kdg is good for the kids and,in turn, good for Mokena.
R.W.Voter January 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM
Just what the little children of this village need. One more year of public school education by Union teachers. These children won't be able to tie their own shoes by the time they get through let alone qualify for college or a good job. Give them vouchers and maybe they will have a chance. Thank you
Mike January 17, 2014 at 05:10 PM
The teachers may be union, and I'm no fan of unions, but I think they do a pretty good job. It would be nice if they had right to work in IL. I believe if they weren't forced to be dues payers--- I know than can opt out of the PAC---- that most of the really good teachers would not be members of the union. By the way, I don't have kids in Mokena schools.
R.W.Voter January 17, 2014 at 10:25 PM
I don't either, if I had school age children, I would send them to private school or home school them. I don't know why people have children when all they want to do is dump them into either kindergarten, pre school or nursery school, just to get rid of them so they can go to work. We started school in kindergarten, half day, prior to that learned from parents and other members of the family. We didn't need common core, and we learned to print and then write. Something is missing, there were no unions then. Thank you
Marian Cunningham January 18, 2014 at 09:51 AM
Who cares about this when one of the third grade teachers won the Hot Teacher Contest on 101.9 the Mix? What an accomplishment.
Connolly January 19, 2014 at 06:23 PM
R.W.VOTER People like you that ruin this country...Thank you! !!!!!!! ( hope your proud)
R.W.Voter January 19, 2014 at 10:18 PM
Connolly, My opinion of you is much lower than yours of me. I am entitled to my opinion and you can disagree with it. Obviously you act like a left wing person in that you just attack the person. What is your opinion on the situation, say it or don't you have an opinion. I am not going to ruin the country, the public education system will do that, and has a good head start. Thank you
Connolly January 20, 2014 at 07:29 AM
R.w. voter.full day kindergarten is nothing but a great thing for our children.the school district has very highly educated teachers that work very hard to teach our children.the children absorb so much information at that age why would you want to limit to a half a day.this is a proven fact not opinion.so in my opinion yes it is people like you that will ruin this country because you want to hold back children..from the education that they need and deserve to be prosperous.. Thank you. .....
R.W.Voter January 20, 2014 at 09:18 AM
The education degree is one of the lowest on the scale, what does it take to teach a 5 year old, mothers have been doing it for years without the assistance of a Union teacher. The teachers are more worried about their contract, and will they get extra to get them on the bus. Full day kindergarten is a waste of time. In public schools the scores are dropping so they want to eliminate standard tests. No, it is just a ploy,bring back the day when children failed, and were not promoted when they couldn't make the grade, then you have a good system that will put out great results. I vote for vouchers. Thank you


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