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.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sign up for news alerts and Facebook updates about Mokena: