RC to offer all-day, everyday kindergarten

All day every day kindergarten is coming this fall to Rush City.

The Rush City School Board unanimously agreed to provide all-day everyday kindergarten beginning with the 2013-14 school year during a special school board meeting May 29 at the high school. Brenda Nessel made the motion, which was seconded by Justin Wood.

Board members also agreed to hire the teachers and paraprofessionals needed for the program change.

After the meeting, Superintendent Vern Koepp said the board has discussed the concept over the past few years, but it was reluctant to go down that path if the district couldn’t sustain the change. But with the state Legislature figuring out a funding plan this session, the board felt confident to move ahead, he added.

As a result, the school district will cover the approximate $90,000 cost of providing three sections of all day kindergarten the first year (again, this coming fall), while the board anticipates the state will come through with the funding on a sustainable basis starting with the 2014-15 school year.

A fourth kindergarten section will be added if needed, Koepp said.

Board members also discussed the impact of all day kindergarten on preschool enrollment, particularly if the noon bus routes are discontinued. Due in large part to the costs involved, the board asked Koepp to study the impact of all day kindergarten on preschool participation and bring that information to the June 20 board meeting.

In other news, the board:

• Rejected the one bid it received for the Tiger Trail road improvement project and agreed to rebid in hopes of getting quotes for different parts of the project. Board members will revisit the issue in June.

• Authorized an additional fulltime Early Childhood special education teacher and authorized administration to hire a parttime physical education teacher.

• Hired Elizabeth Carpenter as a reading intervention teacher, Brekka Gay as an elementary school teacher and Cynthia Martin as a longterm substitute for Linda Lindeman from March 28 to June 3, 2013. Both the Carpenter and Gay hires become effective at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

• Accepted the resignation of special education teacher Angie Bohnert.

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