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Full-Day Kindergarten Back on the Table

If the Mansfield School system can receive a state grant, then full-day kindergarten may be a reality next school year.

Mansfield Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Hodges told the school committee on Tuesday that a full-day kindergarten program at the may be a real possibility, if Mansfield can get a grant from the state government.

Hodges said the grant would give the Robinson School $60,000 for the fiscal year 2012-2013. The funds would be given as a means to prepare and buy necessities for starting a full-day program.

“We are looking at this as an opportunity,” said principal Kate Kristenson. “It’s a transition grant to in fact set up classrooms, to get materials etc.”

The state will be giving out $910,000 in these grants for such a purpose. Currently, there is a morning kindergarten program which can be then supplemented by the Continued Hours at Mansfield Public Schools (C.H.A.M.P.S.) program.

The main difference between the current two programs and a full-day program would be that the students would have one teacher for the full day.

“This way we give them the opportunity to… be ready for the transition to grade one,” Kristenson said.

Hodges and Kristenson said that, they received the grant, the full-day program would not cost the school system any extra money.

“We’d about break even,” Kristenson said. “It’s free money and let’s see if we can get it.”

Hodges said that there has not been word from the grant program as to whether the grant would be yearly for a period or just a one-time grant.

“We’ve got to be careful,” said Committee member John Perry. “Sometimes when you get this grant money, when the money dries up and it becomes a burden on the district.”

Hodges said that this is still an option, and if the committee does not like the grant terms, they can later chose not to receive the added funds.

The school committee for this 2011-2012 school year, but .

For more information on the grant and the grant program, click here.

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